A lot has been spoken (and documented) about the importance of customer experience as a prime differentiator for businesses—even before the COVID-19 crisis began. And with this pandemic upending businesses world-over, more and more companies are looking for ways to hold the customer's attention, and gain their trust. And for a good reason:
- According to Accenture, "57% of consumers spend more on brands to which they are loyal."
- Research by the Harvard Business Review sheds light on the loyalty economy, stating that "Loyalty leaders grow revenues roughly 2.5x as fast as other companies in their industries."
- "39% of loyal customers will spend more on a product, even if there are other less-expensive options available," as per data by Yotpo.
- And if these statistics weren't enough, here's the icing on the cake: As per data by Microsoft, "96% of consumers say that customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand."
But why are we talking about customer loyalty, when, in fact, we should be talking about customer experience? Simply because one cannot do without the other, and the two are, in fact, interlinked. And ingeniously so, might we add.
Let's understand how. If you wish to boost sales, you need to retain your existing customers in addition to making new ones. And to build your customer base, your SaaS customer support team needs to shift gears and transition from being a "company-centric" team to a "customer-centric" one. With that in mind, let's take a look at four Customer Support breakthroughs to look out for this year!
4 SaaS Customer Support Strategies to Embrace in 2020
1. Voice-Assisted Support will Boom in 2020
Voice search is, perhaps, one of those few technologies that have permeated our lives without us knowing. Every time you yell, "Hey Siri, please set the alarm for 8 a.m.," you are using voice search. One of the reasons why people love voice search is because it allows them to multi-task. From the data's perspective, even research paints a positive outlook:
- According to estimates, "Voice-based shopping is expected to jump to $40 billion by 2022."
- In the current climate, "58% of regular users of a voice search device, manage shopping lists on a weekly basis, using their voice-activated speakers."
Did you know? Google Home is the most-preferred voice search digital assistant, having answered 81% of the queries correctly, on average.
Needless to say, optimizing your content with tools and brand's offerings for voice search can emerge as a key differentiator in extending a seamless customer service. As we saw, the customers want it. The businesses need it. So, the need of the hour is to brainstorm on an all-inclusive SEO and marketing strategy for intuitive voice-based search technologies that can be integrated it into your offerings.
2. Live Chat: The Key to Boosting Sales & Serving Happier Customers
Live chat is the new email. In fact, 65% of customers today want a live chat.
Long story short, customers expect real-time messaging with brands so that their queries can be answered instantly and effectively. From routine FAQs to more instructional advice, chatbots today are more than equipped to handle customer queries. Luckily, in cases where the chatbot is unable to help, it can route the customer to a live agent and ensure that no customer goes home with queries that are unheard or unaddressed.
Advancements in this amazing technology have now enabled businesses to leverage live chat software with custom triggers that help boost sales and contribute to the overall effort of your customer support team's operations. Here are a few examples of live chat triggers that a few brands are already using (and acing):
- New client onboarding: Betterment's live chat service makes it easier for new customers to navigate their services by offering personalized support:
- Pre-chat forms to collect critical user data: Maids in Black's live chat feature asks users to fill simple details to gather customer data. This is later routed to the appropriate teams as the need arises. Note that their welcome message on the website is also short-and-sweet, and greets the user without being annoying/condescending.
Key takeaway: Live chat frees up your agent's valuable time, which they can spend on addressing more complex problems, while the customers can self-serve and resolve issues in real-time.
3. #WFH is Here to Stay
To reiterate the scale at which remote working is expanding, consider this: According to GetApp, "The amount of people who work remotely at least once per week has grown by 400% since 2010." And this number is only set to rise with Work-From-Home becoming the latest shift in terms of the working environment.
That said, your customer service reps need to be trained and better-equipped to WFH instead of working out of a well-oiled call center. In addition to this, giving your team access to the right set of remote working tools can make their (and their customers') lives easier. The best part? The agents always have the option of using email, live chat, and social media from their mobile phones to address customer issues in a jiffy, without hampering the services/sales—from the comfort of their homes. All hail, WFH!
4. Self-Service is more than just a Buzzword
"One-third of consumers say they would consider switching companies after just one instance of bad customer service."
As stated above, customers today are more than willing to self-serve instead of waiting in line or on the phone to get their queries addressed. In fact, a study by Forrester claims that "70% of customers prefer to use a company's website to get answers."
If you're wondering what these 'self-service' avenues look like, keep reading. Here are a few self-service tools being offered by companies that the customers can take advantage of, and their & usage:
This is where we will suggest you invest in creating a knowledge base to get maximum returns and boost customer happiness. In simple terms, a knowledge base refers to a library of all important information relating to your products/services.
First off, with a rock-solid Knowledge Base, your team can say goodbye to those never-ending support tickets and unresolved queries.
"About 45% of companies offering self-service report an increase in site traffic and a decrease in phone calls."
Let's take the example of a FAQ section. If your website has a well-drafted FAQ section, your agents won't need to answer repetitive questions again and again and feel frustrated. They can, instead, channel their energies towards addressing more complex queries that require problem-solving and creative thinking.
Key takeaway: If you wish to scale your customer support services without compromising on quality, creating a knowledge base is the way to go.
"When asking consumers what impacts their level of trust with a company, offering excellent customer service ranked number one." —Dimensional Research
Going forward, customer support services are going to look entirely different from how they function today - Customer service agents will be seen video-conferencing with customers, co-browsing on issues on their smartphones, in the comfort of their homes instead of an overwhelmed call center. A win-win for all, in our humble opinion. What do you think?
By Dhruv Mehta
Dhruv Mehta is a Digital Marketing Professional who works at Acquire and provides solutions in the digital era. In his free time, he loves to write on tech & marketing. Connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn. Connect on Linkedin