Now more than ever, customers have a strong sense of empowerment. They proactively demand outstanding service and direct companies on how to satisfy their wants and needs. Technological advances, along with globalization, have created faster, easier ways for consumers to speak up and be heard. In particular, Twitter has become a popular outlet for customer support, now that people turn to the platform to report bad service.
Many of the customer trends that started in 2014 will continue to have an impact this year. More and more companies are offering support through social media to provide self-service and multichannel service, improve timeliness, and become more environmentally friendly. All of this is intended to not only reach and engage new customers, but also retain existing ones.
Research has revealed that it is more expensive to acquire new clients than it is to retain existing ones, and that customer service quality directly affects customer retention and churn rates (two key metrics that measure success for SaaS companies). What’s more, customer loyalty and satisfaction impact ROI. As a result, you want your customers to become ambassadors of your technology and brand, and for that, you need a talented team in place to ensure your power users are utilizing your solution effectively and efficiently.
There are many ways in which a support team can address client needs. Some tactics will work better for a particular solution or in a specific industry, and I’ve learned there are three must-haves in the content marketing industry:
“Customer service is just a day-in, day-out, ongoing, never-ending, unremitting, persevering, compassionate type of activity.” —Leon Gorman, former president and chairman of L.L. Bean
A kind word always helps me when I’m having a bad day. The right words used at the right time can have a deep impact on people; your tone states your intention. It’s not what you say that matters, but how you say it. This is why you need people with strong interpersonal skills on your support team.
A product or service can be duplicated, but a great service culture cannot be copied—the people in the company create it, and every team is unique. Look for people with the strong technical skills needed to operate your technology, but also with the high emotional intelligence that will humanize your service.
“Every great business is built on friendship.” —James Cash Penney, founder of JCPenney
In a recent article, Skyword’s Christine Warner explained how to develop and execute a successful personalized content marketing strategy. She said you not only need people developing the strategy, but also technology in place to deliver the content. The same idea applies to delivering a personalized support strategy.
The support team’s job is to collaborate across teams. At Skyword, this means working with program managers and editorial to quickly understand client concerns and consult on how to fix any issues users are experiencing on the platform.
Reporting issues, sharing updates and stories, and keeping the communication flowing between the support team and the content geniuses has proven to be an effective tactic to help us deliver personalized support. We want everyone in the company to be brand evangelists and help ensure Skyword is properly represented in every department.
“Here is a simple but powerful rule: Always give people more than what they expect to get.” —Nelson Boswell, author
The more resources you can provide your users, the better. Creating guides and FAQs articles about your product or service will help customers understand how to best use it.
At Skyword, we have an interactive help center where clients can access articles, post comments, follow updates, vote, file requests, and get in touch with us through live chat.
You support team’s technical-writing skills will prove useful when creating content and developing materials around the essential functions of your technology. This content could even help attract new customers if you foster collaboration between the marketing team and the support team, as each can offer insights into content needs and provide ideas from different business perspectives.
Customer service is the new marketing. It also is an art and a science; it is far more than closed tickets, average response times, or total answered emails. It is measured by our clients’ success, and we are on a mission to help them move their stories forward. If you have any feedback about the Skyword Platform or service team, don’t hesitate to contact us—we’re all ears!
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