Kick-starting something as complex as customer support requires a lot of deliberations, brainstorming, and decision-making. This is by no means a valid excuse to postpone or delay it. An effective customer support system needs to be in place for your business to thrive from the onset. Without such a system in place, you run the risk of lost revenue and brand reputation.
Although implementing a customer support system is a complex project, it becomes manageable when broken down into simpler sub-projects. The guiding philosophy here is to stick to the basic principles of solid business and build your customer support system around it. To help you in the journey, we have come up with a few pointers that together result in a sound customer support system.
Components of a strong customer support system
A robust customer-centric support system is built on several key considerations. The more resilient and dynamic companies work with a customer-centric framework by adopting strategies that make them agile and responsive to market trends and customer needs. Here are the top five game plans that you can implement to build an effective customer support system:
The best source of data for your business is your customer. It makes immense sense to understand what the customer thinks of your product or service encouraging improvements in the deficient areas. Information flow from customers is achieved through customer feedback surveys, market research, competitor analysis, and a contact center database. The insights provided by customers are unbiased, honest, and the most reliable for business decisions.
Implementing a system for recording data with inbuilt analytics and data mining capabilities can result in data-driven decisions that improve the value chain, business operations, and customer goodwill. Data management and knowledge base also assist your customer service agents to cater to customer needs in a more meaningful way. Data helps in delivering personalized customer service that resonates better with the customers. However, companies should be mindful of data security and implement robust security systems to prevent data theft or unauthorized usage.
Customer service is a demanding role, and not everyone fits in it. Dealing with people is tough and dealing with customers is tougher! Let's face the hard facts – most people lack the combination of good work ethics, communication skills, attitude, and technical knowledge required to deliver a good customer experience. It is a difficult skill set to find and explain the prevalence of mediocrity in customer service.
Hiring the right candidates with a flair for customer service is crucial to building a strong customer service system. It is incorrect to consider training as a replacement for attitude. Training only amplifies the strengths of a person. Nevertheless, training is vital to hone the skills of the best candidates and groom them into the role. The ideal candidate should be dynamic, proactive, be willing to learn, and be empathetic enough to think in the customer's shoes.
It's the age of technology, and everyone is available almost everywhere. Platforms like emails, WhatsApp, social media, webchats, mobile, and internet calls have made the world a smaller place. In such an interconnected world, you don't want your business to be any less connected than your customers. Providing customers with multiple channels of connectivity with the business and delivering service consistently over each one of them is the norm of the day.
Ease of connectivity and service improves customer relationships and trust. Customers like businesses that address their pain points without making them go through the hassles of standing in queues or wasting their precious time. Customers are just one bad experience away from running to the competitors and you don't want to give them that. Being accessible on multiple platforms to receive customer requests and complaints is simple, cost-effective, and improves customer goodwill drastically.
Being a customer-oriented business is vital for the long-term sustainability of the business. Companies that are blown away by the competition often fail to understand and focus on customer needs. Customer focus reorients your business at the origins of your value stream – the customer needs your business fulfills.
Customer focus requires a drive and strong initiative from the top management. Workflow and processes should be designed to provide maximum value to the customer in the most efficient manner possible. Customer feedback needs to be taken seriously and acted upon to drive business improvements iteratively. The organization has to build a culture of being customer-oriented and run the business around that guiding principle.
Investing in Employee goodwill
Employees are the face of your business for the customers. Employee actions are in constant interplay with customer goodwill directly or indirectly. Naturally, employee goodwill also translates down the line to customer goodwill. As Richard Branson once said, “You take care of your employees, and your employees will take care of your customers.”
Motivated employees make better decisions in the interests of the business. They travel the extra mile to deliver excellence in every aspect of their job. When it comes to effective customer service, delivering excellence is the key factor. Customers perceive your business as an establishment of expertise in your field, and being good at serving them makes you look in control of what you are doing. Employee goodwill also brings other benefits like skill retention, lower attrition rate, leadership development, and business sustainability.
Getting started on your journey
Building an effective customer support system is a journey, and like any journey, the hardest part is the initial steps. Once you get going, the momentum will keep you going ahead through roadblocks and challenges. Knowing where you want to end up beforehand goes a long way in having a successful and memorable trip.
At Wolken, we help customers complete their journey of achieving excellence in customer support and services. Our business is founded with a mission to provide a high-end customer experience most efficiently and effectively. We work closely with our clients to understand their business requirements and help them reach their destination of business excellence. Get in touch with our team to explore what we can do for your business