The subject of customer support isn’t generally one that fills most small business owners’ hearts with glee. When time and resources are tight, clearing the decks to handle customer feedback, some of it potentially negative, can seem like a big task to tackle.
There is, however, a much rosier view that can be taken of this essential part of overall operations. Approached with the right attitude, customer support can be something that actually makes your company money. In this piece, we’ll look at four key ways you can fundamentally change your approach and transform customer support from a money pit to a profit centre.
- Treat Customer Support As A Systems Improvement Goldmine
Dealing with customer interactions where you or your team have clearly dropped the ball can be uncomfortable at the best of times, but the bright side is that you’re getting real-time, highly specific, unbiased feedback about parts of your overall systems that are crying out for improvement.
Commit to tracking these problems down to their root causes and fixing them on a systemic level and you’ll see steady improvements that contribute real revenue across your entire company.
- Use Customer Support To Fast-Track Product And Service Development
In addition to telling you what’s currently going wrong, customers are also frequently incredibly eager to share their thoughts on what they’d like to see your company offering.
Considering what an expensive and risky process actually developing a new product or service from scratch is, you should be going miles out of your way to leverage any kind of insight you currently have into what customers are prepared to actually pay for.
Make it a part of your overall customer support procedures to regularly mine interactions for opportunities, and don’t be afraid to actively solicit suggestions from customers at the close of successful support requests. You’ll be surprised at the sort of brand new revenue opportunities this simple step can open up.
- Go Above And Beyond To Turn Customer Support Into A Referrals Engine
Customers may not be in a great mood when they get in touch, but every interaction you have with them in a support capacity is an opportunity to leave them feeling great.
The fact of the matter is that most customer support, small business-based or otherwise, is significantly sub-par. Based on their previous interactions with the average firm, most people are incredibly grateful just to get whatever their basic problem is solved quickly, efficiently, and in a friendly manner.
Go even a little bit above and beyond in expediting a customer support issue and you automatically join a relatively small group of businesses in that customer’s mind – and stand an excellent chance of them referring further business to you down the line.
Far from being the necessary evil it’s often painted to be, customer support is actually a potentially incredibly effective profit engine hidden in plain sight at the heart of your business.
Start working the three points we’ve covered into your overall approach and you’ll be unlocking the true power of a resource most businesses never even come close to fully making use of.