How many new fans did your customer support get today?
Learn how your customer service can help you promote your brand!
Much has been said about the Age of the Customer: a time when the market became diversified and developed in such a way that the supply of goods and services in a given niche is no longer restricted to a few suppliers, with rare exceptions.
This means that consumers, whether from the traditional or digital market, have reached an unprecedented level of empowerment, which guarantees their power to demand standards of excellence in their experience with a particular brand.
Why will I as a consumer, choose a brand that provides me with an average experience, while there are several others on the market willing to elevate my experience to a new level?
This consumer profile pervades all points of contact between consumers and the brand: from advertising campaigns to after sales. And at each of these points of contact, your audience is eager to get the most out of the experience.
This means that having the most effective campaign, being consolidated as the best product or achieving the most favorable cost-benefit for consumers is no longer enough to completely win them over.
It is within this context that a new support concept arises: a mechanism to transform the customer into an unconditional fan of your business, and that is what we are going to talk about in today’s text.
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What is support anyway?
The concept of support goes beyond the traditional concept of customer service and begins to lay the foundation for the relationship of a brand with its audience.
In other words, it isn’t only a matter of answering questions and solving routine problems, but of building a relationship of trust and delight, which turns this new type of consumer into a defender and multiplier of your image in the market.
You have certainly heard about the importance of word of mouth marketing and the disastrous effect that a negative opinion can cause to conversions, right?
The logic here is similar!
Imagine the impact that fervent advocates of your product have on the purchasing decision of customers who are seeking for absolute excellence in what they are looking for.
In addition, consider that these searches are now available on the internet on highly publicized platforms, such as Yelp.
There! You notice how valuable it is to have your own business promoters, who have the legitimacy to opine and influence in potential customers’ decision to buy, right?
So, support becomes central to the positioning of the brand in the market.
Having efficient copy, as well as generating value for customers or getting it right in the creation of their persona, structuring a support service that delights your customers is an essential variable to achieve excellence in your business.
This is because, in addition to providing customer service, the support team is now responsible for creating a relationship with your audience.
The meaning behind the relationship with customers via support
As we have seen, it is currently necessary to go beyond customer expectations when the subject is support, exceeding their expectations and generating a concrete value for consumers.
The results however, are not restricted only to cultivating a good reputation in the market.
Of course, this is very important, especially if you operate in the digital market, which is gradually developing and gaining people’s trust.
But this relationship also has the potential of positively impacting your business in many other ways.
The purpose of creating a brand relationship rather than a mere customer service involves customer loyalty without necessarily using after-sales actions.
Customers who receive a satisfying and captivating customer service, will automatically attach feelings of acceptance and gratitude to the brand, which will support future interactions and even new purchases.
In addition, this scenario favors the consolidation of the brand in the market, being recognized by its empathy and solicitude through which it interacts with its public.
Another element that justifies the structuring of a support service in these formats is the possibility of collecting and systematizing feedback, insights and points of improvement in the service or product you offer.
In other words, at this point, support becomes a valuable evaluation database of your brand’s content performance on the market, since it is the front line with the audience that consumes such content.
From this, you can thoroughly evaluate what people think about the products and services you provide, and which aspects should be optimized to achieve excellence.
Elements in a support department
In order to put this model into practice, a few elements are necessary to structure the customer service. We’ll talk about each of them below:
The first one refers to the definition of the customer service channel or channels available to your customers.
In addition to the operating cost criterion of the channel options available in the market, it is very important to take into account the most interested party here: your buyer persona!
The customer service channel must be aligned with the characteristics of your business’s buyer persona, as well as the elements that will facilitate his/her contact with your team.
If your buyer persona consists of people who are not used to the internet, it makes more sense to implement a customer service channel via phone.
On the other hand, if your persona is used to accessing digital tools, the use of a channel via email may be the best option.
This also applies to the language you will use in each of the customer service channels. In other words, the language should be an extension of the language you already use to talk to your audience on social media or in your campaigns.
As important as choosing the best channel and language to communicate with your audience that needs your help, is implementing a self-service tool.
This strategy aims to filter out the simpler and most frequent cases, giving greater fluidity to the customer service flow.
Self-service empowers your customers and allows them to solve problems with greater autonomy. But in order for this to work, information is key!
Customers will only be able to solve their problems if they have access to information that guides them towards the fastest direction of the solution.
A great way to do this is to implement Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), which compiles the main reasons for support and the instructions on how the customer should proceed.
Therefore, it is necessary to educate your customer to always access the FAQ before contacting the customer service channel, since this is the fastest way for them to solve their requirement.
One way to do this is to provide your FAQ link in your communication channels and, within the FAQ, at the end of each instruction, inform the customer service channel for more complex questions.
Having a qualified support team is another prerequisite for structuring a customer support of excellence.
The customer support agents must have a thorough knowledge of your business, the company’s main processes and flows and absolutely everything that is to know relative to the service.
The high level of knowledge of the support team is a determining variable so that the customer service is assertive, objective and agile.
So, strive in order for your team to be fully knowledgeable about key customer service cases as well as exceptions, always encouraging them towards creative and effective solutions to the various problems that arise as the entire business grows.
One way to facilitate this process is to structure the team by segmenting the customer service topics, from the simplest to the most complex.
This model generates the expertise necessary to scale the team’s service potential and optimize the processes involved.
Finally, another important resource to be taken into account is to have a fluid interface between the customer service team and the monitoring of social media.
As the business grows, the brand’s evidence on social media also increases, making it more susceptible to complaints and customer service requirements.
In this scenario, communication between customer service providers and those monitoring social media must be organic, always aiming to solve these requirements through the official customer service channel.
An example of this is Yelp, which is a social media that compiles complaints and demands that have not been solved effectively by the companies’ customer support.
In this case, it makes a lot of sense to have an interface in the support that also absorbs these requirements and directs them to the conventional customer service channel.
Speaking of social media, this is a great opportunity to captivate your customers.
Those who access social media in search of support, traditionally have a higher level of urgency or dissatisfaction than average customers do.
This means that they are often tricky cases that will require a bit more energy from customer support to turn that person into a fan of the brand.
However, this is the perfect moment to carry out an action or campaign that captivates these customers, whether it is distributing a gift or even sending a letter expressing affection and acceptance.
You will be amazed at the dissemination potential of such actions in the engagement of people with your brand!
Which data should I track in order to manage my client relationship in the support channels?
When structuring a customer support service, whether in a large or small business, it is very important to systematically consider and analyze the metrics that point to the area’s performance.
With this information, it is possible to establish strategies to optimize the service and manage the relationship with the customer assertively.
From the identification of bottlenecks, you will see opportunities to be closer to your audience as best as possible.
Customer service volume
One of the main indicators is the volume of customer service received by your contact channel.
It is important to establish a constant time filter so that the analysis of this data can be compared.
If for your niche, it makes more sense to compare the volume of calls every month or every two weeks, it does not make that much difference. The important thing is to maintain the same time filter.
The volume of requests that your support service receives will determine the structure necessary to meet that amount. Here, it is necessary to establish how much flow your support team can provide to the service with the available inputs and channels.
If the gross volume of requests is greater than what your team can handle, you need to think about optimizing the support processes (implementing new tools or more agile processes, for example) or even increase the team.
Another possible analysis with this data is to take into account the variation of the volume of customer support within the time that you have established.
This variation in time is directly linked to the volume of business’ conversions (which tends to increase customer support cases) and also indicates the emergence or the solution of possible bottlenecks in the purchasing process and the use of your product or service.
Customer service time
Another important metric is the customer service time. This metric can be divided into two indicators:
- First reply time, and
- Full resolution time.
The first one means how long, on average, your customer has to wait to receive the initial customer service.
The more optimized your support process is, and the greater your team’s ability to meet the gross volume of requests is, the shorter the waiting time will be.
The second indicator concerns the time a request takes to be solved from the moment the case reaches customer support.
Again, the more efficient the processes, the short this time tends to be. This indicator mainly measures the level of support assertiveness, in other words, the capacity to solve all customer inquiries objectively and quickly.
Request reply rate
Relative to the time and assertiveness of the customer support service, there is another very important metric: the request reply rate.
If the assertiveness level of the support team is not high, the tendency of each request to generate a reply is quite high.
This means that the information that is passed on to customers is not complete or objective. This ends up generating more questions and automatically, the volume of requests will increase.
This cascading effect can be avoided by increasing the assertiveness of the solutions to the customer and consequently, reduce the rate of request replies.
In other words, if we can solve all of a customer’s problems with one contact, the volume of service and the time spent by the team will be much lower.
Customer service quality
All of these metrics are directly related to the quality of the customer service, which is perhaps the most important metric considering the moment that we are currently experiencing in the market.
Each of the above indicators has an immediate impact on the level of customer satisfaction, and in order to measure this, it is essential that for every customer service, a customer satisfaction survey be offered.
In addition, it is also interesting that this survey, in addition to contemplating objective satisfaction parameters, also involve subjective aspects. This means giving the customer a voice and providing a space so that he/she can describe his/her perception of the customer support experience.
Thus, unlike other metrics, customer service quality must also be analyzed qualitatively, so that the customer’s perception can be accurately collected and also identify failures in the process or in the product or service that you offer.
Now that you have understood the importance of customer support, its main elements and how to measure the performance of this strategic area, shall we get to work and structure a customer service that effectively brings your customer closer to your brand?