What Is Customer Support As a Service?
The truth is, today’s customers are sharp, savvy, and expect more. Providing exceptional customer support as a service is the key to meeting customer’s expectations. Every successful business you will find striving to provide outstanding service to their customers. Unfortunately, personal contact with a customer is when things go wrong, and support is needed.
The customer support role was often seen as a hassle, a cost that many businesses felt was a waste. The good news is that the negative view of customer support is in the pits, and a positive perspective is on the rise, where many smart companies look at customer-centric culture as a core value. An increasing number of companies realize that putting your customer’s happiness front and center is essential to customer retention, creating a following of loyal customers, and getting a competitive advantage.
When you offer an exceptional customer experience, your customers will naturally promote your business. Customer support as a service makes your customers’ happiness a top priority and ensures their experience with your brand is positive. Satisfied customers help set the pace to enhance your business’ reputation and branding.
Let’s break it down.
Customer service vs. customer support
Customer service and customer support are frequently used interchangeably, making it difficult to distinguish between the two. Customer service and customer support seem similar at first glance because:
- Both involve helping customers.
- They use similar contact channels like email, chat, and phone to communicate.
- They apply similar skills to increase customer satisfaction.
- Both are vital to the customer experience delivered by businesses.
Simply put, customer support is about providing technical customer assistance by helping the customer resolve any issues they have with the products or services. Customer support also involves product feedback and documentation. However, customer service is about providing value by helping customers make the most of your products or services.
Defining Customer Support As a Service
Customer support as a service is the interaction between your customer and a representative within your organization. The representative answers customer’s questions, solve issues, and assists in using the company’s product or service.
Customer support as a service is relatively new, but the concept has been around for some time. Customer support as a service refers to implementing effective support solutions to satisfy customer’s needs. When customers see value in the products and receive excellent support, companies gain a competitive edge in the market.
Importance of Support As a Service
Adequate customer support is an essential factor in customer retention. A positive experience leads to repeat orders from customers for increased revenue. In addition, a mere 80% of your future profits will come from 20% of current customers, which makes your ability to keep them the loyal key to success. So, if you want to grow your business, a focus on first-class customer support is a must.
Sharp business owners know the value of positive word of mouth. When customers are happy with their products and services, they will tell others, resulting in a flow of referrals – aka free marketing! After all, social networking is one of the most popular digital activities worldwide, with 3.6 billion active users on various platforms. These social media platforms give consumers a voice to share their thoughts and feelings with the world, including their experiences with the companies they do business with, both good and bad.
Consumers go online to leave reviews and comments and share experiences with a company. While positive experiences will convince others to buy from a particular company, poor experiences will make them quickly turn the other direction. Negative experiences indeed get boosted on social media very quickly.
Many people nowadays shop by reviews and use feedback to assess the value of a product. Whether the review is good or bad, a brand is now at the mercy of platforms and has no control. So every business, providing exceptional support to every client to ensure the reviews and comments are helping their business rather than hurting it is critical to their success.
Benefits of Support As a Service
Companies benefit in many ways when they focus on support as a service, including happier customers that are more pleasant to work with, adding to employee satisfaction. Customer experience has an extreme impact on revenue as well. Here are some interesting stats to show the benefits of a positive customer experience.
- Companies with revenue over $1 billion annually earn an additional $700 million by investing more in customer experience over three years.
- Fifty-four percent of U.S. customers say that most companies need improvement on customer experience.
- Sixteen percent of consumers are willing to pay more to have excellent customer service.
- Seventy-one percent of consumers became frustrated from impersonal customer experience.
- Forty-nine percent of consumers impulse buy after receiving personalized customer service.
Here are six benefits of support as a service that will provide you a competitive advantage:
1. Customer Satisfaction
Satisfied customers that receive excellent support are less likely to ditch your brand for a competitor. Customers that are happy with the products and service turn into loyal customers and brand advocates. They also re-order more frequently, increasing revenue. When you have a following of loyal customers, you will have a stream of cash flow coming in. When you have satisfied customers, it’s a great idea to ask them to help your organization by writing a review or referring a friend or family member. When your customers love your brand, they feel good helping you to continue your success.
For the most exposure, ensure potential customers can find positive reviews about your products, services, or the online customer experience. It’s beneficial to promote consumer trust at every level. The goal is to ensure every customer has a great customer experience. Every touchpoint is important – from the first interaction to the last.
2. Proactive Customer Engagement
Proactive customer engagement adds a lot of value. Engagement refers to encouraging interactions and building strong, mutually beneficial relationships. For example, when your customers are involved and interactive, they are likely to order more often. Engaging with customers is also an excellent way to get feedback that you can use to improve your products and services.
3. Increased Customer Conversions
Naturally, an increase in customer conversions occurs when you prioritize customer support. For sure, acquiring new customers can be pretty expensive. It takes less time, effort, and dollars to make a sale from an existing happy customer. When your entire process focuses on the customer experience, conversion rates will increase organically. Use campaigns with personalized offerings and promotions to your loyal customers to increase re-orders.
4. Customer Insights
A customer-centric approach will provide important insights into what your customers want. Basically, it takes the guesswork out of knowing what products or services interest your customer, allowing you to personalize your marketing efforts and increase your ROI for your marketing dollars spent. In addition, asking for feedback after every interaction with a customer and a support rep will help you know how well your staff is stacking up to your customer support strategies and customer-first approach.
5. Brand Reputation
If your customer support strategy is effective, it will boost your business’s reputation since they’re likely to spread the word about their experience. When you build trust with the customers, there’s an increased likeliness of them bringing problems or feedback to your attention to help you fix the issues so they don’t continue to happen.
If your customer support team aims for a quick resolution to problems and provides honest communication and empathy, it will help you avoid negative reviews online or on social media. Building trust is a way to manage your brand's reputation.
6. Brand Loyalty
Having a focus on a positive customer experience increases customer loyalty and improves retention. Price is definitely an important factor in today’s marketplace, but customers are willing to pay more for exceptional service from a company that stands behind their product. But, of course, they still want good value for their money. When you have great products, you can count on gaining a loyal customer for a fair price with the first-class service.
Ensure your customers are happy, satisfied and find value in your products and services. Customer experience should be the top priority for your organization to thrive and succeed.
Remember, every touchpoint is important. Ensure your entire process is streamlined to run smoothly to limit flops or critical points slipping through the cracks. With a bit of effort, the right strategy, and staff that understand the customer-first approach, you can attain customer satisfaction to scale your business.