Customers love enjoying your products and services. But there is something very important that they expect from their beloved brands—an exceptional customer support experience.
Companies spend millions of dollars every year just to make sure they provide unforgettable experiences to all their customers.
For some customers, a solid customer support experience is even the clincher.
What is customer support experience?
Customer support experience is the quality of an encounter your customers have with your support team or process. It's the overall impression your company makes within the customer experience to solve problems, issues, and answer questions about your product or service.
Related: Enhancing your Customer Support: A Step by Step Guide
The experience your customer's endure through the customer support process can leave a lasting mark on how they view your company.
A bad customer support experience can lead to:
- Negative reviews
- Churned customers
- Returns, refunds, and exchanges
- Low customer satisfaction rates
- Less net promoters
Let's look at some ways to enhance the customer support experience for your organization.
The Ultimate Guide to Customer Support
How to improve your customer support experience:
- The whole company has to contribute
- Hear your customers out
- Offer solutions, not reactions
- Use customer support technology
- Personalize your answers
- Collect and store customer data
- Inform customers about the support process
- Go above and beyond
- Deliver on your promises to customers
- Learn from experience
1. The whole company has to contribute
Companies are made of several different departments, but everyone pulls together collectively to achieve organizational goals. And if a company is serious about its customer support experience, then providing excellent support must be one of these core objectives.
Customer support is a responsibility that companies have to adhere to as a unit, serving the best interests of their clients.
The company makes sure its engineering team take their turn on live chat to correspond with customers. This allows the whole team to get first-hand experience of what customers need.
If the whole company—or at least a handful of people from each department—is involved, then customer complaints can be handled quicker, and they may bring with them new and novel ideas.
2. Hear your customers out
When customers use your customer support system, they are often either angry or upset, and need your company to address their issues. In short, they want you to acknowledge them, and they want you to react.
Automated answers are simply not up to the task.
It’s always in your company’s best interests to hear out your customers and do everything you can to provide them with solutions. As soon as your customer tells you about their frustration or a problem they’re facing, that’s the time to really listen.
Your customer support representatives could reply with “let me go over what you just said”. That way your support team and customers are on the same page.
Your customers can rest assured that you really are listening to them.
3. Offer solutions, not reactions
When customers buy your service or product, support comes as part of the package, and they rightly expect a company to provide a great customer support experience when needed.
Some companies try to avoid confrontation by beating around the bush. Some customer support executives are able to provide empathy, but not the solutions customers seek.
This is a chance for your company to provide black and white solutions to customers’ issues. Rather than saying ‘We understand your concern and are trying our best to solve the issue’, make sure you actually do solve their problem.
4. Use customer support technology
Technology can be our best friend when we it’s used to our advantage. Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to making things easier in customer support.
In years passed, customers had to physically go to a shop or office, or lodge their complaint via letter. The world has moved since then, now customers can get in touch quickly and remotely via email, telephone, websites and much more.
Companies can use apps and software to provide a better customer support experience to their clients.
For instance, they can use tools such as:
- Video Chat - allowing support agents and customers to chat directly one-on-one through video. Useful for demonstrating a product or service.
- Cobrowsing - a secure screen-sharing and collaborative browsing experience where agents can initiate a session to overlay the customers' browser. Great for filling out complex forms or guiding customers in the right direction.
- Chatbots - conversational AI bots that can provide 24/7 support to customers by answering simple questions while reducing the amount of work for support agents. A smart way to handle quick and simple customer queries.
- Knowledge Bases - a central hub of help articles based around your product, service, or company in general. This allows customers to provide themselves with self-service customer support.
- Social Media - your company’s social media account has the potential to be one of the most important channels for customer support. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have the power to reach millions of people, providing easy access to your customers.
5. Personalize your answers
Scripted answers should be avoided. Customers want real, active participation in their problem-solving. Many companies have set answers to specific questions.
This isn’t appreciated by customers when they hear exactly the same thing over and over again while contacting you about an issue.
You can pre-plan answers to some degree. After all, you don’t want your customer support agents going completely off-topic or saying something that just isn’t true.
However, use personalized scripts and address the customer in a friendly manner. Talk with them in a way that emphasizes that they are important to you and your company. This puts customers in a more accommodating mind-set.
- Be clear when you talk
- Use passive tones
- Be friendly and enthusiastic
If possible, try and offer to do something helpful that your customers aren’t expecting from you. It makes the whole experience much more enjoyable for your clients.
6. Collect and store customer data
Customers don’t like it when they are forced to keep explaining their situation every time they call. This is often the case when your support agents ask for their date of birth, type of product/service they own, territory/region, or their name. These details may be necessary, but they may also be details you already hold.
There is always room for a personal touch. Start by greeting the customer with personal messages. Practice calling the customer by their first name; this makes customers feel more comfortable.
Customers like it when execs take an interest and do their homework with their data. Keeping a database of customers helps in this regard. It also makes your customer support team’s job easier.
“73 percent of consumers like doing business with companies that use personal data to enhance the shopping experience”
When it comes to personalized customer support;
- Customers like it when they are called by their first name
- Customers like it when a company remembers their name
- Customers want companies to use tools to remember their names and details etc.
Personalizing your approach is a great start to a solid customer support experience.
7. Inform customers about the future course of action
More complex problems can be difficult to rectify and customers have to keep patient when issues can’t be solved remotely. Customer support must sometimes transfer calls or let customers know that someone else will call them at a later date or time.
Customers understand that some issues cannot be quickly resolved, or solved over the phone.
This is where customer support executives and companies must be clear to their clients about the future course of action. Regardless of what the customer has to endure later down the line, the company must guide them through the process thoroughly, no matter how good or bad.
8. Go above and beyond
Companies work hard to provide the best products and support to all their clients, spending millions of dollars to ensure customers’ concerns are resolved in an effortless manner.
However, what customers want is—something different, something out of the box, something which makes them go ‘wow’. This ‘wow’ moment comes when you surprise a customer by going above and beyond!
The 'wow' factor can come from any type of help, support or advice which a company provides.
For example: if customers write to you with suggestions or to make complaints, reward them with a small token like a coupon or gift. You can also give gifts to loyal customers—just to prove you value them.
One of the best ways to create a ‘wow’ moment is by practicing saying ‘yes’, or by providing customers with better alternatives during their customer support experience.
9. Deliver on your promises to customers
This applies just as much to customer support as it does any other aspect of business. Make sure to deliver on the promises you make. Once you’ve made a commitment, see it through.
Customers would be rightly disappointed if you backtrack on a promise of support, having previously assured them you will take a particular course of action.
10. Learn from experience
The management of customer support experience can be a huge headache for any company. Customers can bring in thousands of new issues causing untold complexities. Keep track of how you have solved these issues, you may have to make similar decisions and judgments later.
Remember, every single case may bring something new to learn from. Work on them, take notes, and keep on improving so you’re even better prepared next time.
A customer support experience your customer's will appreciate
There you have it! The 10 ways you can beef up your support to provide a better experience for your customers.
Customer support is a continuous cycle, as long as you have customers, it will never end.
What does your company do to improve their customer support experience?
Let us know in the comments.
Also, if your business needs a customer support solution, check out our customer experience platform.