Maintaining phenomenal customer support isn’t simply a perk to offer clients, it’s an essential element of a successful business model. According to the Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer costs five to 25 times more than maintaining a current one. Meanwhile, research by Bain and Company suggests that a 5% increase in retention rates can improve profits by as much as 95%!
In short, customer service should matter to everyone within the organization – including the CEO and CFO. It’s the secret ingredient to a successful company.
But for many brands – both large and small – the biggest hinderance to exceptional customer service is cost. After all, if you spend 2 hours with a customer buying a $10 product, it won’t be long before you help yourself out of a business.
Although you should expect to spend a decent amount on customer service, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are three ways you can save on customer support – while still providing exceptional service.
1. Automate as much of your customer service as possible
Most of the time people would like to solve the problem on their own – rather than have to call your support team.
Make the most of this by creating as much documentation as possible. Offer self-service to your clients through FAQs, support, forums, and how-to pages. Then, make these pages readily accessible on your home page. Sure, this may require a few minutes of time at the beginning – but it will save your customer service team hours in the long run.
Once you have a forum or FAQs page in place, continually add issues and solutions to it as they arrive. If something happens more than twice – create a thread about it on the forum or write a solution on your support page.
Not only will this help your customers, but it can also benefit your customer service reps if they haven’t experienced an issue in the past.
Additionally, invest in software that can assist you with providing fast and efficient customer service. That could be online chat systems, forums, or other tools.
Any time you observe your team spending excessive time on a single task, consider finding a way to automate that process. The fewer phone calls or support requests your team receives, the fewer employees you’ll need – ultimately improving your bottom line.
2. Implement changes to resolve frequent issues
Do you consistently receive complaints about the same issue? Then fix it! Or, if you can’t fix it, find a way to mention the issue to customers ahead of time – along with potential solutions.
Even the best customer service can’t replace a crummy product. So make every effort to fix the problem!
Particularly in the B2B world, software companies have been able to get away with offering a showdy product, with minimal support, at a premium price. Why? Because businesses needed a solution and there were no market competitors!
But times are changing. A company can’t earn an absurd ROI for long. Eventually other players will start entering the market.
Therefore, regardless of how much market share your brand has, resolve customer service issues as fast as possible – especially when the issue lies with a key component of your service or offering.
By resolving frequent issues you can save your company money through reduced customer service calls, less time being spent on ad hoc fixes, and an improved customer retention rate.
3. Outsource your frontline customer service team
With clear processes in place and a high quality product, you will still receive calls and chat requests from customers who aren’t familiar with your support pages or simply wish to interact with someone directly.
To satisfy these needs in an affordable way, consider outsourcing your entire frontline customer service. The prices are far more affordable than using in-house support, and you can keep your higher-level experts available for the more complex questions and issues that your general customer services reps aren’t able to resolve.
The additional benefit of outsourcing is that you are able to maintain a customer service presence 24/7 without requiring substantially more work from you own team.
Although outsourcing customer service used to mean that your customers wouldn’t be able to understand the reps, that isn’t the case anymore. By working with an agency like Support Ninja, with a team of highly educated and culturally knowledgeable employees, your customers will think they’re speaking with someone right across town!
The key to wowing your customers is to minimize the costs of ongoing customer service, so that you can invest more in providing elite services, bonuses, and perks that go above and beyond the norm.
Therefore, use automation, implementation, and outsourcing to keep your ongoing costs down – so that you maintain a higher profit margin and have more to offer additional benefits to your customers.