What tools can you use to enhance customer support for the benefit of your business? Hi, my name is Francisco, and I am the owner of Planet Marketing, a Digital Marketing Agency. My company specializes in Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Remarketing. I have been doing this for over a decade. In that time, my work has given me a full appreciation of the importance of offering great customer support as a marketing tool in business. That’s the knowledge that I am going to share with you here. This article is divided into the following sections;
Why is Customer Support Important?
That’s a question that you may be asking yourself. Why should you even bother enhancing customer support? I firmly believe that being strong in customer service is of great importance in today’s business environment.
It’s what determines whether your business is going to thrive or whether it’s going to fall by the wayside. The strange thing is that customer service is often neglected as marketers strive to come up with creative, yet strange ways of beating the competition.
The answer to all your problems lies right there before your eyes! Give your customers what they are looking for, and they are likely to come back to your business for more. Go beyond their expectations and they will become your most ardent marketers. So, why is customer support important?
Customer support is important for customer retention
Did you know that it can cost as much as 25 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one? And if you boost your customer retention by 5%, that can translate to an increase of 25% in your profit margins.
Clearly, no business that’s out there can hope to survive on new customers alone. Customer retention should be part of your strategy for achieving growth for your business. But, how do you do that? How do you ensure that your customers keep coming back?
Well, one way through which you can ensure that your customers keep coming back is by offering great customer support. That’s the key to getting recurrent business. Simply put, a satisfied customer will keep coming back while an unhappy customer will blast your brand from Google to Yelp. Now, that’s something that you don’t want to happen!
Good service breeds loyal customers
This point is related to what we have just been talking about. With great service comes customer loyalty. I have just published an article in which I talk about turning seasonal customers into long term customers. Customer support and service are key to that idea. They are how you can convince someone that your business is the real deal.
But why is loyalty important? Well, loyal long term customers are likely to spend 67% more on your business than new customers. So, these customers are one of your business’ biggest assets. Customer service helps you keep them satisfied.
You get new ideas through interaction with your customers
That’s another way through which you can benefit from offering great customer support. Interaction with your customers should not be regarded as a chore. Rather, it should be regarded as a goldmine for new ideas for your business.
The question to ask yourself is; what are the people whom I am talking about looking for? Perhaps there is a need that has not quite been satisfied by your business. You can then plug that hole by introducing new products onto the market.
Good support stops customer grievances from turning into negative reviews
Negative reviews are a topic that I have previously discussed on this blog. I mentioned in that article that adverse feedback is almost inevitable. That doesn’t make them any less galling or damaging. There are things that you can do to forestall the tide of negative reviews.
Offering good customer support is one of those things. It allows you to catch customer grievances before they have degenerated into negative reviews. Most negative feedback comes from the fact that people have not received the information that they are looking for in a timely manner.
Let’s say that someone has received a defective or damaged product from you. Or maybe they simply do not know how to set up and use a product bought from your business. Having readily available support helps keep such a customer satisfied. If the product was damaged, then you should replace it. If they need an explanation on how to use it, then your support staff should be able to offer that.
Great Customer Support is the key to positive reviews
Online reviews are another of the subjects that I have covered in detail on this site. Reviews are important. Today, over 90% of people will first consult them before making a purchase. And the majority of people trust reviews, in spite of the fact that they are written by complete strangers.
One way of getting great reviews is by enhancing your Customer Support. In most instances, your support staff is what stands between satisfaction and anger for the customer. Offer good customer support and you will be able to convince people to give you positive feedback across the internet.
You can use Customer Support to convince people to buy
People usually reach out to Customer Support because they still need convincing that what you are selling is what they are looking for. With eCommerce conversion rates standing at around 2%, being able to push people to make the all important decision to buy from you is of paramount importance.
It can mean the difference between life and death for your business. So, customer support is not just about post sales interactions. Even before somebody has made a purchase, you should be able to engage them to give them the confidence that they need to buy from you.
Customers are willing to pay more for great support
Another reason for offering better customer support is that happy customers are much more willing to pay more. The value of great service should never be underestimated in this regard.
Indeed, an overwhelming majority of people say they will be willing to pay up to 25% more to get good customer service. Customer support, which is part of great customer service, is thus a premium commodity.
Tools to Enhance Customer Support
Clearly, customer support is important as part of offering great service to your customers. The survival of your business depends on your ability to keep your customers satisfied. So, what can you do to enhance customer support for your business? The following tools are what you need for improved customer service;
1. Help Scout
If you are on the hunt for a tool that’s specifically designed to enhance your business’ customer support, then you should try out Help Scout.
One of the key features for this tool is the Live Chat functionality. It means you will be able to interact with people in real time, which goes a long way in convincing them to buy from you. The Knowledge Base functionality means you can provide automated responses to routine questions from your customers.
- Live Chat
- Shared Inbox
- Customer Management
- In-app Messaging
- Integration with a other tools such as Shopify, Mailchimp, Slack and WooCommerce
- Knowledge base
2. A reachable phone number
In the rush for newfangled technologies, this age old tool often gets neglected. But really, a reachable phone number is one of the most important tools that your business can use to enhance customer support .
The idea behind customer support is to enable people to quickly and easily reach out to you. That way you can answer any questions that they may have about your products. To be fair, most businesses will have a phone number listed somewhere.
Where they err is on reachability part. If the number that you provide does not have someone manning it 24/7, then you will be wasting potential leads. It means people who would otherwise have bought from you will look somewhere for answers. It also means some of your customers will not be able to reach you, which can spell disaster for your image.
3. Automatic callback
It can be annoying when calling Customer Support to be put on hold for 15 minutes or so. But hey, if you are a big company, delays are inevitable, unless you hire a thousand support personnel. One way of reducing the frustration on the part of your customers is by having an automatic callback option on your phone services.
How it works is that when a customer tries to reach you and if your lines are busy, they are given the option to be put on the automatic callback list. That way, when one of your agents is free, the customer is then automatically called back. This system is great because it reduces the frustration level on for the customer. They don’t have to be on hold for a long time.
4. The Facebook Chat Plugin
Facebook is the world’s biggest social networking platform. At the moment, it has over 1.8 billion daily active users. Chances are high, therefore, that your customers are already on the platform. But how is this relevant?
Most businesses have installed chat plugins of one form or the other on their websites. These do the work to a certain degree. People can ask questions and interact directly with a business on it’s website. But what happens when they move beyond your website?
This is where the Facebook Chat Plugin comes into play. It’s a tool that can be installed on any website. It’s similar to the other chat plugins that are out there in terms of functionality. However, it takes chatting with your customers well beyond the borders of your website.
Once you have installed the Facebook Chat Plugin, you can continue the interaction with your customers on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. That gives you a lot more time to convince a potential customer to buy from you. It also means all your chats will always be available, unless you delete them. So, this is a great tool that your Support team can use to enhance interaction with your customers.
How much does this tool cost?
The Facebook Chat Plugin can be installed on any website free of charge. There are, however, versions on Shopify and on other eCommerce platforms that come with paid options. But you can install this tool for free. Get in touch with me if you need help.
How to install the Facebook Chat Plugin free
- Go to your Facebook Page.
- Click on Page Settings.
- Next, click on Messaging.
- From there, click Get started in Add Messenger to your website.
- On the next page click on Next.
- You can edit your greeting on the next page. Click Next when done.
- On the next page, set up alignment. Click on Next when done.
- Now you will be shown the code that you can add to your site. Copy the code.
- Add the script to your website’s footer.
- On WordPress, you can add the plugin using a Script Inserter plugin.
5. Facebook Messenger Chatbot
Chatbots are another tool that you can use to enhance customer support for your business. I do have to warn you, however, that you shouldn’t depend too much on chat bots. Yes, they can be useful, but always have a way out for the customer; that is, a means through which they can talk to a live human being.
A chatbot can be useful in situations where your support staff is not available. It can also be useful for lightening the burden on your support staff, by answering simple and routine questions from your customers.
With a Facebook messenger chatbot, you partly or fully automate conversations with your customers. So, when they send you a message in Messenger, they get the canned responses that you will have already set up. If you are interested in this, then you should read this to find out more about how you can get set up.
Many businesses today use Twitter for enhanced customer support and marketing. Indeed, the very nature of Twitter makes it very ideal for these services. The platform only handles short messages, meaning people are forced to stay on the point.
As a business, you need to use Twitter as a platform on which people can reach out to you. It’s a place where you can constructively interact with people by answering their questions and resolving any issues that they may have regarding your products.
7. A Facebook Page
I have previously written an article on how to properly run a Facebook business page. Fact of the matter is, a page on Facebook is a must for all businesses. It’s free, so there is really no excuse for you not to have one. The screenshot above is from my own Facebook page.
You can see that I have a number of followers on the platform. I also have a number of people who have liked my page. You can use your page as a platform on which to provide great support to your customers. If people have questions, then they can reach out to your on your Facebook Page.
The great thing is that Facebook has over 2.7 billion monthly active users. Your customers will already be there. So, by setting up customer support on the place, you will simply be going where your prospects and customers spend huge chunks of their days.
Intercom is another must have tool to enhance customer support for your business. Simply put, Intercom is a business Messenger on steroids. Once you have signed up, you get most of the other tools that we have been talking about here.
There is therefore an integrated approach to customer service. The idea is to help you shore up the relationship that you have with your customers. You get all the tools that you need to fully and effectively interact with your customers.
On the marketing side, intercom gives you the tools to convert visitors to your site. I have previously written on how real time chat can help reduce abandoned carts. These are the things that you get with Intercom.
- Live chat
- Chat bots
Intercom’s pricing starts at $499 per month.
9. A mobile app
This is an innovative way of doing Customer Support and Marketing. With more and more people making their purchases on Smartphones, you need to be able to interact with them there. Most of the major brands that are out there now have mobile apps.
The idea is to enhance communication with their customers. People can ask questions on these platforms. You can also set your app up to automate responses to routine questions from your customers. Apps promote engagement, which is key in cementing awareness of your brand in the minds of your customers.
10. Help Tickets
Implementing a help tickets system is another way of enhancing customer support for your business. What usually happens is that your support will not be able to answer all questions in real time. That’s particularly the case if you are a big business.
Your customers should, therefore, have the option to open “Tickets,” in which they can ask questions. Your support will then answer these questions as promptly as is possible. Once a response has been given, the customer gets notification in their email.
Those are some of the most important tools to enhance customer support for any brand. You will have noticed that some of the tools that we talked about here are paid, while others are free. The paid options tend to have the advantage of offering a host of features in one package. That way, you won’t have to use so many tools, which can be confusing. Anyway, feel free to reach out to me if you have something to say.