There was a time when customer support was quite easy. Not because it was easier to solve customer queries, but at least you knew that every consumer that walks through your store’s entrance could be helped. Years back, that was the only place prospects would show up to ask for help.
As time passed on, many new technologies came into existence that improved communication without feeling the need to enter a store physically. It started off with postal letters, phones, emails, live chats and social media. Currently, there are countless ways customers can reach out to business owners for help.
From this the significant questions that arise are, how vital has customer support become in the 21st century, and how can you set an active customer support platform?
The basics of customer support
Customer support doesn’t require any bag of tricks. It’s a simple process of helping out your consumers by answering their questions or solving their problems. The more you respond to your customer’s questions, the better chances you’ll have of improving your rate of client retention.
As you can see that many business leaders are focused on promoting customer support, this process has been alive for as long as customers and businesses were present in this world. That also includes the customer loyalty card scheme, which was introduced in the late 18th century.
However, the way customer support is processed has changed significantly over the years. If we take a look back at the 19th century, customers could only receive help by walking into a store physically. After the invention of telephones, consumers could call a store to ask for help. Eventually, by 1960, businesses started opening call centers to manage all the load. After that, a couple of the most effective ways came to life that are still being used till this day, email and live chat. Other channels that are also being used are social media and in-app support.
Interaction with your customers boosts your chances of leaving a reasonable footprint on their hearts. If you fail to impress them in your first chat or call, you may scare off the prospect and also encourage them to write a poor in-app or social media review that’ll damage your reputation.
How to do customer support
“Answer Questions, solve problems, and make people happy.”
Yes, that’s pretty much all you need to do! Chances are, the next time a person needs to buy a product that’s available at your store, they’ll come back. It really doesn’t matter what you sell; the truth is that not all products are 100% and chances are a problem will arise every once in a while. Apart from that, many business owners will also come across customers that need to be taught how to use a particular product.
Either way, they will require your help at some point. It’s an excellent opportunity for you to answer their questions, solve their problems and bring a glowing smile on their faces.
However, you’ll come across many grumpy and dissatisfied customers who will simply take out all their frustration on you, especially if you fail to help them as you can’t solve every problem. It’s merely part of the process, and you’ll have to live with it. Many will understand by visualizing your efforts even if you fail, but you can’t win them all.
The best way to always be prepared for the worst is by knowing all your products and services well. This will help you in being able to respond positively, even though you can actually help or not. Also, look for ways to assist your customers to find solutions themselves, so you don’t have put your whole day in this process. You can create an FAQ page or a resource center that is filled with all the essential information related to your goods and services.
Patience is a crucial element that’ll make sure you always remain calm and polite to the first person and the 50th one asking the same question in a row. This behavior takes time to develop, but you’ll get the hang of it soon.
Where to do customer support
Now that you know the importance of customer support, where do you plan on answering all the questions? Here are a few places you should focus more on to provide customer support;
In your store
The internet is flooded with thousands of blogs and articles stating that the traditional methods of selling products in a physical store are fading out. Almost all of these posts suggest businesses to go online and start e-commerce stores. Without denying that fact that online stores are adequate, by looking at the current retail sales and people still driving their cars up to the nearest Walmart, we can conclude that retails stores are nowhere close to going out of business. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the people waiting outside an Apple store, a Microsoft store or a Sony Store the night before they are about to launch their flagship products.
The thing that made these stores maintain a high walk-in ratio is their active customer support. I still remember people visiting their nearby Samsung outlets when their Galaxy Note 7 was recalled due to a battery issue. All of them walked back home with another mobile or their money back.
Email users are expected to cross the 4 billion mark. Therefore this channel of communication can’t be ignored. The contact form available on your website can easily be used by customers to contact your business.
Though this method isn’t considered a real-time means of communication, you can still manage to answer all queries in no time. Regardless of your location, all you need is an internet connection, a smartphone or a laptop to respond to customer’s emails.
It’s true that emails are more comfortable to handle as you can take care of them smoothly and one at a time, but if your account gets overflowed with queries, this may lead to many customers having to wait. However, thanks to AI technology like chatbots, you can get a customer support service developed that’ll speed up the process with pre-written messages.
On the other hand, you are going to need live chat support to deal with your website traffic. This source is currently considered the best option as you can instantly provide answers to questions and also engage with them to sell your product or service. According to Abdul Mannan ”There are many ways to make a business flow and improve, but the crucial one is customer support – the CTO of ExportHub.”
Customer support is crucial in earning your prospect’s trust, and believe me, without trust your e-commerce business is going nowhere. Therefore, If you want your e-commerce business to excel, you need to start by proving an excellent customer service. – Try it and experience your business growing in all aspects.
Beatrice McGraw is a digital marketing expert who works for ExportHub – A Online B2B Marketplace. She just loves to share her knowledge with the world in the form of blogs, videos and various other types of content. In her free time, she is an active gamer and a techwiz who adores researching innovative solutions that emerge in the digital world. Follow her on Twitter here: @McgrawBeatrice.