Whether you are a one-person shop or a global company, your customer support efforts are equally important. Good customer relationships do not just happen on their own, they result from actively applying best practices, such as the ones listed below.
A large conglomerate may have thousands of staff available for support while your group may have a total of five people. Regardless of the size of your team, you need to respond immediately to your customers. In this digital age, people have high expectations for responses to their queries. Even if your response is as simple as “We hear you and are working on it”, your customers know they are heard. So if you do not already, get a mechanism in place to confirm receipt of customer queries.
Treat all clients equally
Do you make a million dollars off a single client? Maybe not if you are with a small group. You may have a lot of people on an entry-level plan for $99 a year while others are on the $499 plan. Both groups are important. If the ones on the $99 a year plan are treated right, they are more inclined to stay with you for the long haul and consider an upgrade to your next tier of service.
Stay in touch
Competition is in every industry, so you must stay top of mind with your existing customers to have a high retention rate. A “helpful tips” newsletter is one way to stay in touch. Although it can indirectly be a sales tool, it primarily needs to be just that – helpful tips. Provide a tip that will help people better use your product or service. Maybe it is a short paragraph about a new feature. Or a three-minute video that walks customers through that new feature. However you do it, remember it is an opportunity for customers to remember you are there when it comes time to spend money.
Ask for feedback
This can be scary because sometimes the feedback can be hard to hear. But if you do not ask clients what you do well and not-so-well, you miss out on some valuable data. Based on their comments, you may find the need to pivot which is exactly what helps your business grow. Without their feedback, you may flatline or eventually go out of business because you are not in tune with what customers need. A complaint can be a gift.
While your business has implemented “stay in touch” efforts that are about reminding customers you are there and how they can best use your product or service, you also need to upsell. Rather than constantly chasing new customers, look for opportunities to add more value to your existing ones. When you have feedback, you know what to adjust – or create – that will bring in more revenue.
The moral of the story is provide excellent support. As you apply best practices, your brand will be known as one that provides high-quality customer service and you’ll maintain high customer retention rates. Big or small, it is nearly impossible to maintain a competitive advantage without a priority on customer support.