“ A satisfied customer is the best business strategy “. The phrase said by Michael Leboeuf, consultant and author of eight bestsellers on business management, is a great saying that every manager should keep in mind.
If your business ensures that customers use your products or services with a smile on their face, they are more likely to return and spend more with your business.
But things don’t always go according to plan and customers can be dissatisfied with your business. To save the situation, you need to have a successful customer support department. If you are willing to solve your customers’ problems, you can regain their trust and often their money.
In this guide, you’ll be able to read about 1) the reasons why a business needs a customer support department and 2) the steps you should take to build a team as part of your business strategy. Hopefully, in the end, you’ll also understand how to ensure customer service success!
Why do you need a customer support team?
Today’s customers have many more options at their disposal and better opportunities to share experiences as consumers, including through social media.
They no longer need to rely on a television advertisement to know if a product is good or not – now, they can rely on reports from those who have already bought, paid and used it, and have a much more reliable opinion.
This all created the so-called 3.0 client . He wants to relate to companies that not only offer the best product or service, but are concerned with serving him in the best way.
It is essential for a modern business to focus on customer support to ensure that it offers more than just a service or a product. You also need to be able to capitalize on the positive aspects of word-of-mouth marketing generated by a satisfied customer.
But beyond that, customer support can bring two main benefits to a business:
You will learn more about your product or service
No matter how much effort you put into designing and developing the service or product your company offers, customers won’t always appreciate what they receive or how they receive it.
But that negative feedback can often give you valuable insight into your business and the things it offers. Customer support receives a lot of useful information, which can be used to further develop your product and service.
Your company will be financially better off
A good customer support department may initially mean extra costs for your business as you will need to hire staff and systems to support the unit. But in the end, your business will enjoy much more financial benefits.
First, you will increase sales. The Harris Interactive study found that nearly 90% of consumers stop doing business with a company if they experience poor customer service. Give customers a good experience and they’ll keep coming back and likely recommend your business to their friends and family.
Second, the customer support department will help save your company money by resolving issues before they escalate into something bigger. Customers who have had a negative influence can cost your business a lot of money by not only ruining your reputation but also suing you for any misdemeanor.
With a good customer support team, you can resolve these issues immediately and avoid long-term consequences.
Finally, as mentioned above, a good customer support department helps your business focus on creating unique customer experiences. This will provide the above benefits and create valuable relationships that will last longer and continue to be more profitable over time.
The main steps to structure a customer support team
Now, you must understand the value and importance of customer support for your business. But anyone who has dealt with a customer service department knows that there is bad service and there is good service. While it’s better to try something than do nothing, you could further damage your business with poor service.
How can you ensure that your customer service department becomes a success and not a hindrance? Here are the key steps you must take to establish a successful customer support department.
1. Establish Your Customer Support Team’s Role
Before starting the basics of building a customer support team, you need to think about your roles. Not all care units have the same objective, and your objectives will help define your team’s roles more coherently.
You can define your department’s role by asking the following questions:
- What is the main function of the department?
- What are the main problems he should analyze?
- Will the department deal with sales issues?
- Will he make financial inquiries?
- Will you be responsible for dealing with technical issues?
- What are my company’s core values that should drive customer service?
You may find that certain departments in your company may already be doing certain fulfillment work. For example, your sellers can get feedback on the product, and so on.
Identify these departments and help them better respond to customer needs. You want everyone in your company to know about your customer service objectives and how to direct people to the special unit if problems arise.
Use your answers as a guide for defining goals for the customer support department and each team member. You want the goals to be all about improving the service.
2. Hire the right employees
A customer support department depends more than any other on quality workmanship. If your employees aren’t passionate about customer support and don’t have the right skills for the job, you won’t be successful at your task.
The right skills will depend on the key roles you want the team to play, as well as the field your business operates in. But there are certain traits that all reps should have:
- Empathy and patience. Every customer will be different, and your employees will need to empathize, even when the customer is annoying. Also, it takes a lot of patience to deal with customers who might be hot-tempered;
- Adaptability. There are different types of customers and your employee must be able to quickly adapt to new situations. Also, the problems may be slightly different each time, and you need someone who can think quickly;
- Clear communication. Employees must be able to discuss complicated issues clearly and concisely. This is especially important if the job requires help with technical aspects of the service or product. Your customers will likely be laypeople, so clear communication is important;
- Solid work ethic. Customer support is among the toughest jobs in the world as you have to remain upbeat and positive at all times. Your employee must have and maintain the correct work ethic;
- Knowledge of the company’s field. Your employee must know the product and your company inside out. You’ll resolve issues much faster and give the customer a more confident picture with the proper knowledge.
- Great problem solving skills. Another obvious but crucial point. You’ll never know what kind of trouble your customer will bring you; therefore, it is always important that this professional not only have some experience, but also be proactive in suggesting the best resolution at that time. Some of the above skills can naturally be developed and improved with training. In fact, training is an essential part of the customer support department and you should regularly provide employees with opportunities for self-development.
All large companies invest in training, both in improving knowledge about the company’s product or service and in developing soft kills .
When it comes to training, you need to make sure your employees’ personalities shine through. You want people to be able to think quickly and you want each customer to have access to a customized solution — your employees should never be trained to just read the procedure!
Don’t forget that the internet is a great treasure trove of self-development tools that your employees can use as part of their training. For example, below is a great video about the keys to better communication:
What is customer experience? How to improve?
Key takeaways from this article:
- The customer experience goes far beyond just presenting the same things, but actually applying actions that can delight and retain consumers .
- There are several characteristics that frame a customer experience as positive, such as: ensuring that the public has the desire to consume the product again, that it is meaningful and memorable.
- The customer experience has a huge influence on how the brand will be seen going forward. In addition to building loyalty , it will make you recommended to other close acquaintances.
- Far beyond just “closing sales”, a positive experience accompanies the customer even after the deal is closed, that is, the experience must continue after the sale .
A positive experience brings the customer closer to the company. A negative experience generates the opposite movement.
For someone who is starting to research the impact of the customer experience on the company’s results, this may seem like a very superficial subject, a “bonus” that the company offers to the customer. However, 72% of companies say that improving the customer experience is their top priority.
See what the benefits of CRM are: how to use CRM in the company and sell more, with our free downloadable Guide
“Priority!” That’s a word that should stick in your mind throughout this article and later when you apply what you’ve learned here.
Generating positive experiences for your customers is essential to retain them, build loyalty and make them promoters – not detractors – of the brand.
There are many reasons for this, among them is the financial performance of the business. 73% of companies with “above average” maturity in Customer Experience have financial performance 44% better than their competitors, which do not have an ideal maturity in this area.
Therefore, if improving company revenue and achieving sales and business goals is a priority, understanding what customer experience is should also be.
What is customer experience?
Have you ever stopped to think about what customer experience is and how you’re delivering it?
After all, why do things need to be impressive so much? Since when is being good no longer enough?
Unfortunately, good is no longer good enough in business, sales, and customer engagement strategy .
With thousands of promises, proposals and noise, even the best can fall short of people’s expectations.
But believe me, whenever someone can choose a type of experience, they will choose an amazing experience . No one pays for a less than amazing experience as a customer.
Often the sales team does not know what they need to do to provide customers with an incredible experience.
Some sellers believe that it is impossible to improve the customer experience , while others feel that the company is responsible for ensuring this.
In this game, sales professionals and companies keep offering the same thing to their customers and end up, over time, losing the customer, who leaves in search of new opportunities and new experiences.
This happens because people link incredible with impossible, and thus believe that there is no way to improve the customer experience in relations with your company.
On the other hand, it’s not that impossible to generate an incredible customer experience for your customers.
All your company needs to master and understand is what customer experience really is.
In this way, if you are looking for how to improve the customer experience, you need to develop a customer strategy that discovers:
- what the customer expects from your company,
- what the competition offers,
- what are the reasons why the customer is buying,
- how your product fits into the customer’s life,
- what are the alternatives to your product,
- what are the differentials of your company,
- why people (and companies) should do business with you.
That done, just understand the value of what you sell to the customer and what he expects to get from your service, and then raise it within your ability to offer added value and that’s it: you already know how to improve the customer experience.
Didn’t find it easy? Well it really isn’t.
This is a very meticulous job and that is precisely why not all companies care about it. But if you want to be able to do it, you’ll need to know how to use CRM software to your advantage and follow the tips on how to improve the customer experience, which we’ve listed below.
Characteristics that define a positive customer experience
Having understood what customer experience is and how important it is for companies, we proceed to evaluate which elements define where your strategy should aim to build an experience for the customer.
Below, we separate 3 main characteristics that define an incredible customer experience for your audience.
#1 The customer experience should be positive
Awesome customer experiences are always positive. Impressive by definition means inspired by that which is great or sublime .
Creating positive experiences will ensure that your audience will always want to relive them.
What are the indicators you use to define what customer experience is in your business and whether the customer experience with your company is positive?
When you interact with your customers, do you use the CRM to record the history of your interaction with the customer?
Do you transcribe the conversation, part of it, or a summary for the customer action history?
Once that’s done, do you take the opportunity to measure whether the customer’s experience with your company is being good or bad?
How do you use the history of interactions with your customer in CRM to measure if their experience with your company is being positive, if it is being neutral or if people are not enjoying interacting with your company?
The CRM needs to be the thermometer of all this. When you interact with a customer, whether over the phone, email or otherwise, do an analysis of how they felt after the interaction .
Don’t let the feeling that something is missing overwhelm you.
If you, when rereading your history with the customer, have the feeling that the treatment and service he has with your company is not being positive, revert this immediately.
It’s going to be a long road, but it’s entirely possible to turn problem customers into fans of your company.
At the end of the day, you have to make sure the customer’s experience with your company is as positive as possible.
Use the customer relationship history stored in the CRM to do this. The job will definitely be easier.
#2 It must be meaningful
What’s the point of doing something nobody cares about?
Meaning comes from context and its impact. If no one is talking about your experience, it certainly wasn’t as amazing as you think it was for your customer.
The customer cannot walk away and forget:
- who are you,
- your company,
- what you do and represent.
People need to be marked by elements like:
- the friendliness of your company,
- your way of listening to customers,
- their posture in trying to help them solve their problems and, mainly, in committing to their success.
A much admired trait in companies and salespeople is respect for the customer’s moment. Only then will your company gain their trust and show that you are not interested in pushing a product before your buyer is ready to buy from you.
How does it work?
In practice, the CRM is the best thermometer for this. It is precisely he who will let you know:
- what is customer experience, in the context of your business,
- how to respect the phase of each sales process ,
- and what to do to feed the customer to secure the next step.
In addition, the CRM helps the seller to be remembered by his customers. It is precisely he who will remind you to interact with your customers without forgetting to call, send an email or schedule a meeting in the middle of the process.
With that you don’t forget about your customers and they don’t forget about you.
In addition to conveying the impression that you care about helping them actually solve a problem, this will help build trust in you as a person and your solution.
Schedule events in the CRM to help you remember customer interactions and ensure they move to the next stage of the sales funnel without any suspicion of your intentions. Still having a good experience with regard to the customer experience.
#3. She must be memorable
A memorable customer experience should reflect on subsequent business or experiences.
Don’t be afraid of the adjective. I didn’t say flawless, or perfect. And also remember that we are not talking about exceeding expectations here. We’re talking about being memorable.
Sellers often promise their customers worlds and funds, thinking that this is what makes the difference when selling. But that’s not quite how it works.
Promising more will not make people prefer your company. What it will do is fulfill what it promises . Regardless of how much it is.
It probably results in fantastic excitement that people can’t wait another minute to share.
You must find a way to connect with a compelling message that sticks in your brain.
Memorable experiences have nothing to do with promising eternal happiness and perfection.
Memorable experiences have to do with treating the customer:
- with dignity,
- don’t belittle him,
- don’t promise what you can’t deliver.
Offering a memorable customer experience is listening to the customer until the end and then promising something that really has to do with their wishes.
People don’t want to hear ready-made proposals. They don’t want to ask for the offer of the day. In fact, there is no way to improve the customer experience without listening to what the customer has to say .
They are people who want to be heard, want to dialogue, want to see what your company can do for them, before presenting any offer or product.
When your company stops offering ready-made products and solutions, without listening to people’s needs, and starts listening to what they need, you are just a few steps away from surprising the customer with your proposal and truly offering a memorable experience.
Stunning experiences can be created anytime, anywhere. So why aren’t companies focusing on making more memorable experiences for their customers?
Mainly because creating a positive customer experience like this requires:
It takes time, skill, and an understanding of how to turn a mediocre experience or an “okay” experience into one that is meaningful and memorable for everyone.
Whether you want to impress your audience or create an amazing experience when they engage with your brand, we have a method that can help.
How to improve the customer experience
But, after all, how to improve the customer experience to generate more business, satisfaction and retention ? Here are four simple but very effective strategies for achieving this goal:
- Meet customers’ needs
- provide entertainment
- create the unexpected
- Don’t let the customer disappoint you.
Meet customers’ needs
Find out the bare minimum the customer wants your product to do . Based on this, it will be much easier to know how to transform your offer into something that goes beyond the basic needs of customers.
If all your company does is meet basic needs, you will always offer a commodity and will rarely be considered if other companies are available.
A customer experience, to be at least good, requires you to be a reliable company and solve any need that is within your attributions.
Anything other than that will be a bad experience.
Your customer wants to have the security they expect when doing business with your company. People crave reliability .
Without meeting these basic needs, people will become anxious, worried and completely closed off.
You can go from good to great by making the customer experience fun.
Engage attendees so they enjoy what you have to offer them, this is a great way to improve the customer experience.
Often in sales, building relationships needs to be fun and entertain people.
It’s much more fun to create a new experience and turn your product into an amazing experience. Everything is easier when the people around you are having fun with your company.
Customer retention often depends on this small element. And it is worth remembering that it has a direct impact on the financial area of the company, after all, it is 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain one.
If what you sell is seen as a pain to buy by your customer, find a way to make buying your product easy, transparent and relaxed .
Data already show that 74% of consumers change companies if they find the purchase process too difficult.
The best way to do business with clients is when they feel they are investing , not when they feel they are hurting, being ripped off, or losing.
create the unexpected
This is certainly the most difficult of the customer experience components to achieve and by far the most critical.
Today, with the digital transformation, people are bombarded with a lot of information and it is rare that they are surprised by a product or service.
Find a way to approach people in a relevant way so they will always remember your company experience.
In some industries this simply means delivering what you promised. But creating the unexpected is finding some way to deliver value to the customer so they feel like doing business with you was worthwhile.
When a brand creates something unexpected, it succeeds in creating a personal connection between it and its customer, and thus the business relationship becomes a relationship. In this way, we are facing an incredible customer experience.
Don’t let the customer disappoint you.
When a customer is disappointed with your company, that is, when the expectations he had with your business are not confirmed , this generates an extremely negative customer experience. This scenario is the opposite of what we’ve talked about so far.
You can use humor or even beauty, but you need to:
- know what the customer expects from your company,
- align expectations,
- fulfill what was aligned.
Ideally, you take the customer experience in another direction, even better than customers expected.
One of the ways to prevent customers from being disappointed with your company is to understand how to qualify leads , to find contacts who really need what your company offers and are ready to implement your solution in the company’s strategy.
That way they have a great experience that makes them remember it for a long time.
Just providing 2 of these 3 components will turn the experience into something reasonable. Amazing customer experience requires the complete convergence of necessity, entertainment and the unexpected .
How much does the customer experience influence the sale?
Once you understand what customer experience is and how to improve it, it’s pretty obvious that customer experience directly and broadly influences sales .
Whether in an e-commerce, in a physical store, in B2B or B2C companies, investing in a customer experience that is complete and surprising will help to lead the user to the sale.
In fact, companies that excel at customer experience grow revenues 4-8% above the market.
In addition, satisfied consumers share their experience with the company with an average of 11 people , increasing the potential for referring new customers and serving as high-value social proof in the market.
Leads that come to your company by referral are more likely to become customers.
Of course, a customer experience strategy shouldn’t just be concerned with current customers in order to refer new customers.
It is essential to generate a quality experience for leads and users who reached your company through other channels, such as marketing actions and active research of the sales sector by prospects.
To do this, offer a direct and fast communication channel that responds to the lead with speed and efficiency, providing advisory support and generating value for this user. For that:
- make the purchasing process simple and efficient,
- understand the demands of the lead,
- offer a customized solution,
- provide a consultative sale,
- focus on contributing to customer success,
- seek to qualify the lead,
- ask the right questions to understand the demands,
- create an empathetic posture in the sales sector and more.
In addition, it is essential to understand that, by not offering a good customer experience, your company tends to have more difficulty converting a sale. 56% of customers would stop shopping with a business because of a bad experience.
Customer experience: Nubank example
Nothing like good examples of companies that create excellent customer experiences to inspire other businesses.
Nubank is an online financial institution that offers a free bank account and credit card, as well as excellent customer service through an efficient center.
Even without open physical branches, the service channel offers confidence to customers, demystifying the fear related to new banks and virtual transactions.
In this way, the company offers a free, quality service, with efficient support and empathetic, quick and resolute service .
All of these elements form part of the company’s culture and values, which place the customer experience at the center of all decisions.
Tool to improve customer experience
Amazing customer experience doesn’t require a lot of money, props, or even other people. It mostly requires a decision on the part of the sellers to make this happen and then executing the idea to completion.
Of course, chasing the amazing customer experience doesn’t guarantee it will happen, but if you don’t try, your company will always be surrounded by mediocrity.
The excellent experience is not just 1 factor, but a set of factors that, when they happen within the entire commercial process, make your customer feel not only satisfied, but very grateful for everything your company has done.
CRM can be a great ally when it comes to generating value for the customer and when working on a strategy to create an excellent experience.
When the seller uses the CRM system as a weapon to implement this customer experience, he is much more likely to have a satisfactory result.
Learn all about this subject by downloading our e-book: CRM: Attract, Loyalty and Satisfy More Customers
Many companies out there continue to suffer the consequences of having a poor customer support team. But in the age of social media and online reviews, the emphasis on good customer service has never been more important.
If companies want to succeed in the modern world, they need to build the foundation of strong support with the steps mentioned above. Focusing on these points will not only drive success in the service itself, it will also help the entire company succeed.
Strong and successful customer support is tied to creating a strong service culture in your business. It’s about creating a culture of problem solving and empathy. With the steps above, you can install the right elements for your business. Now that you’ve learned how to structure a customer support team, learn about the advantages of CRM — the tool that will make the difference in the success of your service!