Editor’s note: The article gives experience-based tips for startups to ensure top-grade customer service. If you’re looking to provide efficient customer support and need expert assistance, be sure to check our offering in help desk outsourcing.
From ScienceSoft’s experience in establishing and managing IT support for our customers, I know that neglecting customer service in favor of other priorities (e.g., product/ service marketing, customer acquisition) is a sure way for a startup to fail. On the contrary, businesses that focus on customer retention achieve a much more positive overall customer experience and get more lifetime customers and sustainable revenue growth. In particular, a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to an increase in profits of between 25 and 95%. Below, I share some easy yet efficient customer service tips that may help your startup succeed.
To make sure your customers reach out to you and get help as quickly as possible, pick the channels they will most likely use. For instance, if your customers belong to the millennial generation, they’ll prefer a live chat or social media over traditional channels, like email and phone. However, if your product/service is rather sophisticated and expensive, a phone call should be among the priority support channels. Using emails for customer service also seems viable, if the requests are processed quickly enough (a one-hour email response time will meet the expectations of 89% of your customers). Thus, picking at least two communication channels your customers use actively and responding as quickly as possible is the place to start.
To measure the quality of your customer care and spot the tendencies and areas for improvement, you can leverage a number of customer service metrics. Not to get overwhelmed with tracking too many of them, startups can focus on the essential ones, including:
- First response time (FRT) – the time between a customer submitting a ticket and a customer support agent providing an initial response to it.
- Interactions-to-resolution – the number of interactions between a customer and a support agent until the issue is resolved.
- Resolution Rate (RR) – the percentage of issues resolved by support agents against the total number of tickets they received.
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) – a measure of your customer satisfaction estimated with a survey that a client fills out typically after the issue resolution or a conversation with a customer service agent.
As stated in Software Advice’s survey, 73% of customers look for the answers online first, in case of any issue. Therefore, creating a customer portal or a knowledge base with comprehensive articles, guides, how-to manuals, and FAQ sections allows for proactive customer support. It’s especially useful for startups with few customer service agents since a lot of customers will be able to solve their issues themselves, instead of seeking an agent’s assistance.
Getting customer feedback after every interaction is crucial for the startup’s customer service quality and overall success. The thing is, such feedback not only shows what customer service agents are good at and what should be improved. It can also be a source of insights for sales reps since it helps them detect opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. The marketing team, in its turn, can use customer feedback to craft marketing campaigns, optimized to match your target audience’s expectations.
Setting up an onboarding process for your customer service agents with thorough guidance on your product’s/service’s characteristics and customer service processes is the last but not the least step for a startup to make. Agents that know your product/service inside-out and follow your customer service workflow, resolve tickets in due time and deliver the support that keeps your clients satisfied.
An ultimate tip
As you see, providing top-level customer service shouldn’t be underestimated, since it can lay the groundwork for your startup’s success. If your startup has a limited team and budget and is simply unable to ensure a great customer experience with in-house resources, help desk outsourcing may be the answer. If you consider entrusting your customer service to a reliable provider, feel free to contact our help desk team.
With 12 years in application support, we offer multi-tiered IT support for your enterprise applications or your software products and their users with minimum involvement from your side.