How to design your customer support strategy

How to design your customer support strategy

Opinion ·

One of the most important determinants of a successful business is grounded in its customer service strategy. Studies show that 67% of people are willing to pay more if the company offers an excellent support service that is customer-centric.

If your products are premium, but customers are not happy with your services, it becomes difficult to survive in a competitive market. As a customer service manager, you should ask yourself questions like, Are the customers happy?, Is the support team adequately prepared, Does the company’s customer support strategy need improvements?

A well-rounded customer support strategy improves customer experience and quality of interaction with the brand and helps foster customer loyalty. Therefore, it is important to focus on designing a great customer support strategy that keeps up with your customers’ needs and expectations.

What is a customer support strategy?

A customer service strategy is defined as a well-laid-out plan focusing on handling customer interactions. It is a plan of action that delivers a standard of customer support.

An effective customer support strategy must prioritize customer happiness and satisfaction. The first step in developing such a design must start with understanding what the customers are looking for and expect from your brand.

A report published by McKinsey & Company summarized that today’s customers are not merely interested in a brand’s products or services. Instead, their purchase decisions heavily rely upon buying into an idea or an experience.

Similarly, according to a study published by Walker in 2020, customers value the buying experience more than the products. Almost 86 percent of customers are willing to spend more if guaranteed a better customer experience.

5 Reasons why you should design a customer support strategy

Although customer service strategy is what makes or breaks a company, most brands tend to overlook it. Customer support is a vital part of the brand’s customer experience strategy. Studies show that more than 82 percent of customers will not hesitate to abandon a brand if they experience negative customer support.

Customer relations are integral for businesses to gain and maintain a competitive advantage over rival brands. By building valuable relationships with your customers, you can increase loyalty toward your brand thus fostering repetitive purchases. A study by HubSpot found that only a 5 percent increase in customer retention rate can potentially increase revenue by 25 to 95 percent.

Here are 5 reasons why you should design a customer support strategy for your brand:

1. Customer retention is more economic compared to customer acquisition.

As we discussed, a 5 percent increase in the customer retention rate has the power to boost revenue significantly. This is because existing consumers are likely to spend 300% more on your business compared to new customers, resulting in lower operational expenses for your company with higher profit.

The customer acquisition cost is higher for a company that does not invest resources in enhancing customer service. Investing in customer support can decrease the churn rate, reducing the amount you spend on acquiring new customers, thus lowering the overall CAC.

2. Satisfied customers refer others and bring in revenue.

If you can satisfy your customers and provide them with an exceptional customer service experience, they will promote your brand to their families and friends. Studies show that over 72 percent of customers share a positive customer experience with at least six or more people.

This is a chain reaction. If you have a favorable experience with a brand, you are definitely going to talk to your friends about it. You will want your friends to have the same experience and commit to a brand you trust.

Customers are the cheapest and most effective type of word-of-mouth marketing. But, your brand must give them reasons to do so.

3. Customers pay more to brands that offer compelling customer service.

Companies often fail to realize that customer service matters so much that customers would pay a premium price to get excellent support from brands. In fact, 67 percent of customers would pay more if promised a better customer support experience.

In today’s market, a company that does not prioritize customer service will crash. Even a single experience can strongly influence customers. One positive experience could be the ultimate deciding factor for them to remain loyal to a brand. Similarly, a negative experience could send them seeking competitor brands.

4. Customer support positively impacts customer lifetime value.

Customer lifetime value or CLV is one of the most important metrics for a brand. CLV represents the net revenue that brands can expect from a single customer. Increasing the customer lifetime value means your customers will shop more frequently and spend more money on your brand.

An effective way of increasing customer lifetime value is through investing in customer service strategy. If customers have a positive experience shopping from your brand, they will likely shop again. They will also share their experiences with their close ones and increase your customer base.

Customer service also makes new customers trust your brand and creates a smooth buying experience.

5. Customer service strategy defines the brand’s image, reputation, and values.

Every brand has its own mission and set of values. You may have a clear idea of what your brand stands for, but your customers can only make assumptions based on your marketing techniques, content, social media presence, etc.

However, through customer support interactions, companies have the unique ability to control and influence this perception. The customer service employees interact directly with the customers and carry the responsibility of representing your brand.

Research shows that 96 percent of customers say that customer service is a deciding factor for their choice of loyalty to a particular brand. Customer service can convince customers of the brand’s strength over its competitors.

How to design an effective strategy?

Here are 7 steps to create a customer support strategy that will help your organization to grow:

- Outline a vision for your customer service strategy

A brand’s vision is an overarching principle that defines the overall experience customers will get with the brand. Having a clear and consistent vision highlighting the brand’s values and mission is the first step you need to go through when creating your customer support strategy.

For example, the leading retail company, American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), has committed to the mission of offering its customers on-trend, high-quality clothing at affordable prices. AEO defines itself as an inclusive, optimistic, and empowering brand that celebrates the individuality of its customers.

Your brand’s mission and values are the starting point for designing a customer support strategy. Your customer service has to convey your values and be aligned with your mission.

- Fostering a customer-centric workplace culture

Providing exceptional customer service means prioritizing customer expectations over everything else. Your customers should be at the heart of everything you do, including getting your whole company on board.

Within the organization, every employee across the different departments should commit to understanding customer support purposes and ensuring that in every activity carried out a customer-centric approach is used. Customer service shouldn’t only be limited to the customer service or help desk department. To foster a customer-centric culture, every employee must be trained and recognized for their efforts.

Even though your customers may not interact directly with every department of your brand, each department influences the customer experience in some way. For instance, customers receive the product in the packaging designed by the shipping department or see the advertisements created by the marketing department.

- Map your customer’s journey across the brand

A successful customer service strategy is based on deep insight into the customer’s journey. Creating a customer journey map is important to identify the different interactions between the customer and the company. The customer journey map illustrates the steps your customers go through in engaging with your company and it is a crucial tool when creating customer experiences.

The best way to achieve this is to create a basic outline for the customer’s journey and add touch points along the way. These touchpoints refer to customer interactions with the company to fulfill their needs. You can also include details such as customer feedback loop, stakeholder interviews, first-hand purchasing experiences, and so on.

in text - customer journey

The customer journey map will help you to identify and work on all the touch points, make reflections on how each touchpoint influences the whole experience, and measure performance in a more detailed way so that you know at which step improvement is needed.

Once you have mapped out a holistic view of the customer’s journey, try identifying opportunities for improving customer experience and satisfaction. For example, if you find out that your customers are facing the same issue after they purchase the product, you can try reaching out to new customers with a solution for that problem even before they approach you.

- Set SMART goals

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. It is important to set SMART goals to have a sense of direction, to ensure that you are always improving your performance and that you are able to measure it and track your progress.

Every customer service goal needs to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound to be effective in driving your efforts. When starting to implement your strategy, set SMART goals, and work toward them.

- Build your customer service team

A productive customer service team is fundamental to providing efficient customer support services. For that reason, it is crucial to hire the right people and invest your resources in the right tools to allow the support team to work in an efficient and effective way.

When hiring your team, look for appropriate skills and an optimistic personality. Your employees should be well-trained and experienced and possess an empathetic outlook towards customer service. Your team should first be introduced to your vision and set of values, then be trained to meet the everyday challenges that can emerge in customer service.

Investing in customer service tools that will allow your team to successfully onboard customers and deliver them the best service is also important. Layerise can support your customer service team to offer great customer support and experience. Thanks to the chat feature, your employees can communicate with customers to try to solve their problems. Layerise helps you in collecting data about your customers to personalize your experience. For example, when using the chat feature, your employees can see all the information available about the customer they are chatting with.

- Introduce self-service solutions

Self-service solutions help customers to find solutions to their problems without the assistance of a company representative. Self-service support saves both the organization and the customer time and empowers customers to find their own solutions.

In today’s competitive market, customers are becoming increasingly self-reliant and prefer to solve problems themselves. A study conducted by HubSpot shows that almost 90 percent of customers feel that their concerns must be addressed immediately. Therefore companies need to update their customer support strategy and offer more self-service solutions.

The best way to introduce self-service support is by creating a self-service platform where customers can sign up, find information about the product, ask questions, track the response status, communicate with agents, etc. In these portals, customers can always find support throughout their journey with your product. Layerise is the perfect solution to ensure that every customer gets the most optimal product experience and can always easily find support. Based on your product and your target customers you can personalize the platform to offer a unique user journey.

- Use the feedback loop to improve

The most valuable resource for improving your customer support performance is customer feedback. Once you start regularly gathering feedback, you can refine and adjust your strategy over time according to what your customers want.

Here are some of the reasons why customer feedback matters:

  • It makes your customers feel valued.
  • It improves the product and service quality.
  • It bridges the gap between the customer experience and your company.
  • It reduces churn and dissatisfaction rates.

There are various channels for collecting customer feedback, for instance, brand reviews, social media DMs, surveys, polls, website reviews, testimonials, and so on.

Make sure that you also collect feedback from your own customer support team. Your customer support employees are often more knowledgeable about issues that customers face. They spend most of their time interacting with customers directly and understand them better than anyone else.

- Measure the success of your strategy

After building a customer support strategy, it is vital to measure the performance over time. Instead of falling down a rabbit hole of metrics, focus on these three main objectives:

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) measures how your customers feel satisfied after different interaction points in their journey. It also helps you identify areas where issues are occurring. A customer satisfaction survey is the best way to gather CSAT data.

Customer Effort Score (CES) measures how much effort a customer has to put to avail of your service or product. It denotes the actions that a customer has to make to get an issue resolved. The more effort the customer has to put in, the lower satisfaction will be.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures the likelihood of customers recommending your brand’s products to their friends. This is an effective way of measuring customer loyalty.

How can Layerise improve your customer support strategy?

Remember that providing exceptional customer service is a marathon and not a sprint. Thus, if you want to exceed all expectations and delight your customers, you need to invest your resources in the right people and tools that can help you to implement your long-term strategy. Layerise is the perfect tool for you to create the best customer experience.

With Layerise you can provide your customers with interactive and engaging instructional content, exceptional self-service support tools, a high level of personalization of services, and real-time 24/7 support through the chat feature.

On top of that, thanks to Layerise you can collect relevant data about your customers that are fundamental to implementing an effective marketing strategy. Through the platform you can build automated marketing campaigns based on your audience and make your send-outs personal and relevant to increase conversions.

Layerise is the perfect tool you should invest in because it allows you to establish ongoing customer relationships while continuing to build revenue streams! If you want to learn more about how Layerise can help your business, book a free demo with us now!

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