Almost every industry today is highly competitive in one aspect or another. This makes it hard to stand out from the crowd, especially if you are just starting out. That being said, a startup’s ability to provide excellent customer service is often the sole determining factor in whether or not it will succeed or fail.
When consumers have a positive experience with a company, they become advocates and help spread the word about that business to others. However, to make this a reality, companies must first win over the customers and provide an experience superior to that of their rivals.
Starting with the best customer service practices will give your startup a leg up on the competition. Therefore, without further ado, here are the seven ways startups can improve customer service.
7 Ways Startups Can Improve Customer Service
1. Establish Quantitative Measures of Your Customer Service Performance
You can use various customer service metrics to gauge the efficacy of your customer support. Keeping a close eye on these metrics will help you identify patterns and show you where there is room for growth.
This is very important, especially for online businesses that don’t have a large budget. Startups may avoid being overwhelmed by keeping track of too many of them by concentrating on the most crucial ones. These include:
- First response time (FRT) – The amount of time that passes between when a consumer submits a ticket till they get a reply from a customer service representative.
- Interactions-to-resolution – The total amount of time it takes for a client to work through a problem with a support representative.
- Resolution Rate (RR) – support staff efficiency measured by the ratio of closed tickets to total tickets.
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) – A method of gauging customer happiness via a survey sent to them after a problem has been resolved or a discussion with a customer care representative.
2. Get a Basic Process in Place for Handling Consumer Inquiries
When it comes to handling complaints from customers, you need to keep your “intake” process straightforward while you’re just starting out; it’s tempting to get fancy, but that’s typically not the greatest course of action since what works well now may stop functioning properly as your business grows.
Furthermore, there are many tools at your disposal when starting your company. Still, it is better to implement some forms of customer success tools than a sophisticated system for customer inquiries. At least in the beginning.
3. Decide Where To Put Your Focus
One of the best ways for startups to improve customer service is to establish problem priority. Let’s start by defining what this is:
- Exactly how extensive the customer’s problem is?
- To what extent their problem extends beyond them, if at all?
- How long have they been waiting?
Consider these questions when determining the urgency of each ticket. High-priority tickets must receive an immediate response. After that, work through the list of minor to moderate issues in the order in which you were notified of them.
4. Regularly Discuss Common Customer Issues
Many rapidly growing businesses overlook the ability of customer support efforts to give them a crystal-clear picture of what their customers want. Most companies don’t prioritize customer input when making product decisions, instead following the lead of the CEO or the marketing team.
However, it is crucial to hear what your customers are saying. If you do this, you will be able to quickly grow your business and address any issues that arise along the way. To accomplish this, you must hold regular discussions about how you can improve.
5. Offer Emergency Assistance
Assist your clients in resolving their issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. One way to accomplish this is to connect them with resources that can provide immediate aid.
Instead of wasting time with a team member who isn’t the greatest person to tackle a problem, find the person who can solve it straight away.
Customers will have an easier time navigating your service channels, and your staff will be more productive if they focus on discussions for which they have the necessary skills.
6. Create Clear Documentation
The quality of your documentation will always be the first resource for customer service. In fact, it is beneficial regardless of how people you have working to answer customer concerns.
While the primary purpose of documentation is to enlighten your customers, it also facilitates the onboarding of new employees and the development of a shared body of product knowledge inside your organization.
Customers and new hires benefit from having ready access to a centralized repository of knowledge they can consult whenever they have a query. This eliminates the need for a tedious back-and-forth.
According to the research, 40% of consumers would instead handle their issues without involving customer support at all. This is what makes documentation so valuable. It is simply a powerful tool for self-service.
7. Carefully Choose the Channels for Interaction With Customers
There should never be any roadblocks in customer service or other methods of interaction with your customers.
To avoid any potential for discord, today’s businesses, and startups, in particular, need to be reachable via all possible means (startup website, social media, email, self-service, live chat, and developing channels like chatbots).
The channel you choose will differ depending on the type of business you are running. Therefore, do the research and find out what the best solution for you is going to be.
Now that we have gone over the seven ways startups can improve customer service, it’s time to put them into practice and see the benefits for yourself. Of course, you don’t have to implement the ideas all at once. You can try one and see if it makes a difference before moving on to the next.
In any case, it’s important to keep in mind that taking care of your customers should be a priority. If you are able to take care of them, they will return time and time again – and that is the best thing that can happen to a startup business.