If there’s one thing that can set your business apart from your top competitors, then it’s the overall value of your support for your customers.
You can even beat the largest companies in your space when you provide much better customer service.
On the other hand, you can lose a lot of money if you neglect this important area.
Effects of Customer Support by Numbers
This recent report from Kissmetrics points out that an average total of 83 billion USD is lost to poor customer service in the USA.
Bad customer service is the main reason why 71% of customers choose to ignore companies.
Do you know how much a lost customer will cost you?
$243 is the global average.
Meanwhile, American Express indicates that the US Consumers are willing to spend 17% more money on a company when they experience a positive interaction with their sales agents and support representatives.
You can also save a lot of money and earn more profits when you focus on selling additional products to existing customers.
Customer acquisition can cost up to 5 times more than what you’ll spend on retaining and driving repeat sales from your existing customer base.
Besides, you’re also 60 to 70% more likely to generate new sales from existing customers.
How to Support Customers and Stand Out from The Crowd
Even though these numbers come from large enterprises, they still mean the same: Small businesses should shift their focus on enhancing the value of their customer service to retain customers.
So in an effort to guide you — Here are some actionable tips to help you hit the ground running.
Personalize the Customer Experience
Unlike the large support teams of Fortune 500 corporations that often look at their customers as numbers on their screens, you can improve the overall experience of customers when they interact with you by being personal and relatable.
Keep in mind, your primary objective is to make your customers feel that your business values them.
So you’re advised to focus on this objective. Do this when designing the back and front end systems of your customer support pipelines.
Be Reachable at Every Level of the Buyer Journey
From your storefront or e-commerce platform down to your checkout counter and after-sales support pipelines, make sure customers can contact you quickly and easily.
Remember, your customers won’t have an optimum experience if they need to wait for several days before they receive a response to their support tickets.
You’re also advised to monitor the performance of the agents at each level of your business processes.
This way, you’ll be able to spot bottlenecks that are likely limiting the potential of your business to provide more value for your prospects and existing customers.
Treat Your Tech Well
As a small business, you probably have limited access to advanced in-house tech solutions, unlike your biggest competitors. Luckily, cloud solutions can remedy a big chunk of that issue, but you will still need in-house tech.
Since it’s unlikely for a small business to employ a large technical crew, or even have a dedicated IT guy, you need to learn how to fix and troubleshoot your PCs and tools you work on daily, and that you use to interact with your customers.
This way, you can stay on top of this level to immediately fix issues and prevent problems from negatively affecting the experience of your customers when they deal with your support representatives.
Act Upon What Customers Are Telling You
You’ll learn a lot of things from your customers. Use their feedback to improve your business processes and strategies.
Remember, the primary goal is to make your customers feel important, and responding to their comments and suggestions is the ultimate way to achieve that.
You can couple this with integrating a customer satisfaction form into your support pipelines.
This way, they’ll be able to rate their experience after dealing with your support team and give you data that helps you identify problem areas and correct issues before they disrupt your operations.
Empower Your Customers
A successful sale is not the end of customer support – the after-sales services you provide will ensure your customers see you’re committed to excellence at every level, even after you already received the money.
Be there for your customers, find affordable software and marketing solutions to make the job easier and ensure they can reach you quickly.
Listen to what they have to say and follow the golden rule of “the customer is always right” when you tweak your services so they better serve your customers.
Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows. Follow him on @bmorepeters