Exceptional customer support doesn’t just help to keep your current customers happy, it helps bring in new customers too! Discover 3 ways to grow your business with customer support in this post.
When you think about customer support, one word comes to mind first: retention.
In 2017, the barrier to try out new products is so low that if your customer has a problem, you have to solve it immediately or they’ll switch to a competitor. A great customer support team can be the difference between your company’s success and failure—especially if you’re a startup.
At Teamwork.com, going the extra mile for our customers is included in our company values and we pride ourselves on our top-notch customer support. Our average response time is 12 minutes during business hours, and this high level of support impresses many of our customers.
The results we’ve seen from our customer-centric approach has shown us that having a customer support team that’s dedicated to excellence isn’t just a way to retain our current customers—it’s a way to acquire them too.
That’s why we’re sharing these three easy-to-implement ways you can use customer support as a growth mechanism.
1. Track Feature Requests to Build a Better Product
Y Combinator’s slogan is a clear component of business success: Make Something People Want.
But anyone who has built a company from the ground up knows that this is easier said than done. Your great idea might be something people like but don’t really need, or a competitor could swoop in with a product that outperforms your own.
Excellent customer support not only focuses on solving individual customers’ problems as quickly as possible, but it also pays close attention to suggestions for possible improvements to your product. Tracking new feature requests is one of the easiest ways to discover what your customers want.
The requests your team gets clearly indicate what your customers need most urgently so you can create a solution and attract even more customers like them. At Teamwork.com, a lot of feature requests come in through our support team. As you try to take care of each customer immediately, it can be difficult to parse through what’s an urgent need and what’s an individual use case, which is why you need a system for tracking and prioritizing each one.
We recommend a three-step process for managing feature requests:
- Log all feature requests. Even though you can’t build every edge case your customers ask for, it’s good to have a record—a feature you never thought you’d need could turn into your company’s new niche.
The integration between Teamwork Projects and Teamwork Desk makes it easier to track every feature request that comes your way by making it possible for you to create tasks from your feature request tickets.
You can then make a column for “Initial Requests” on your Board View in Teamwork Projects, and add a card for each feature.
- Track demand. You can tally every customer who requests a certain feature in that feature’s card. Once enough people have requested the feature that it becomes a trend, put the card in a column for “High Demand Feature Requests.”
- Add to your roadmap. Once your developers determine that a highly-requested feature is feasible and they set a timeline for its release, add it to your product roadmap. We publish our roadmap to show our customers, current and future, what they can expect from us—and let them know that their feedback matters.
Chances are, the features your existing customers want are some of the same ones that would make your product more appealing to new customers too. Your current customers are telling you exactly what your potential customers want—you just have to listen.
2. “Wow” Your Customers and Make It Easy to Share the Story
Customer support should have a “wow” factor. Analysis shows that 58% of consumers are more likely to tell others about their customer service experiences than they were five years ago, which means that the best customer support gives your customers something to talk about.
Entrepreneur, author, and vocal fan of Morton’s Steakhouse Peter Shankman tweeted jokingly to Morton’s that they should deliver a steak to him when his plane landed. Sure enough, they were there waiting with a steak when he got off the plane.
He wrote about what he learned from the experience, saying, “Customer service isn’t about telling people how awesome you are, it’s about creating stories that do the talking for you.”
At your company, there will be big, “airport-steak-delivery” moments where you can create amazing customer support stories, but going the extra mile for your customers on an everyday basis creates an impressive narrative around your brand too.
That narrative is a growth mechanism. Peter Shankman didn’t just eat the steak—he tweeted about it.
Encourage your customers to share their support stories by making it as easy as possible for them to do so. Start by trying these tips:
- Include a referral CTA in support agents’ email signatures. Add “Want 25% off your next bill? Refer a friend here,” with a referral link to each support team agent’s email signature to remind customers to recommend your company. It’s not intrusive to customers whose problems you haven’t solved yet because it’s not a direct “ask,” but it makes it easier for the customers who want to refer you to do so.
- Add social share buttons to your support reps’ email signatures. Adding a social share button to your emails decreases the amount of clicks it takes to share a success story and reminds customers that they can share. It’s easy to add an HTML code to your email signature so that when your customers have something positive to say about your brand, they’ll be able to dash off a tweet in seconds.
Using AddThis, you can generate HTML codes in seconds to add to your customer support reps’ email signatures.
- Send a follow-up email to customers who you “wowed.” After every customer support interaction at Teamwork.com, our customers have the chance to rate their experience as “Great,” “OK,” or “Not Good.” You can track this same metric at your company using Teamwork Desk, and connect it with Zapier to send an automated email asking for a referral to customers who rated you as “Great.”
Making it easy for customers to share their success stories turns your excellent customer service performance into a referral marketing strategy.
3. Showcase Positive Support Experiences
It’s clear that social media has become an essential support channel. Data shows that 67% of customers use social media for customer support—and 33% even prefer it.
Use that point of customer contact to its fullest advantage. Personal and quick responses to each customer’s tweets or Facebook comments will help increase positive brand mentions—and they put your business on the radar of your customers’ friends and professional network.
Once you have established a rock-solid support strategy for social media, you can share the results with all of your customers, even if they’re not on social media. Your brand needs to have a personality and a voice in order for potential customers to trust you, so build trust by showcasing the support you provide through your social channels as social proof on your website.
Including a social media timeline on your site is a form of customer testimonials, which are known to increase conversions by as much as 34%. But the social media timelines have an added benefit in that when customers go to your page, they’ll see opinions that they know aren’t carefully edited by a marketing team. The praise is organic, and they can trust that it’s authentic.
We showcase this Twitter timeline on our customer happiness page.
To create your own customer happiness page, sign into Twitter and select “Widgets” in settings. From there, you can create a new embedded timeline based on a “search,” so that any tweet that mentions your company name will show up. Then you copy and paste the HTML code onto your site. You can also create timelines for Facebook and Instagram, too.
Publishing our Twitter feed means that we don’t just tell customers about our amazing support, we show results. We want potential customers to know that we guarantee to maintain the high standards we promise. And when you show your future customers praise from current customers, you’ll see the impact in your conversions.
Let Customer Support Fuel Your Growth Engine
Customer support is one of the easiest ways to grow your business because that growth is driven by the high standards of your support team. To succeed, you have to do what you should be doing anyway—focusing on your customers’ experiences.
But beyond those individual experiences, a reputation for great customer support builds trust with both your current and potential customers. The value of that trust is immeasurable.
When your customers understand that you care about their experience, they’ll trust you to fix bugs, develop the new features they need and provide them with a top-notch product instead of switching to a competitor.