Every company wants to support customers, but few actually prioritize support. There's enough to do just to get a product and business off the ground to make it a focus.
But it should be--timely, helpful, or personalized customer support can make the difference between a loyal user and a former one. And it's alot easier to improve your customer support than you might think.
To go from average to amazing customer support, you don't necessarily need to hire a bunch of new support staff. You need to find ways to build support into every part of your business.
Here are 4 ways to make customer support easier, and 4 free tools that any company can use to do it.
Turn An Error Page Into An Opportunity
Your website is perhaps the most important part of your business. It's become the main way customers interact with most businesses, and the first place potential customers go to learn more about your company and decide whether they'll give your product a shot.
And sometimes, it doesn't work.
Website downtime and errors can spell disaster for your company. Send a potential customer to a page with a dead link, or a generic 404 error, and they won't bother to find the right page. It's a small problem that can have major consequences.
You can't always guarantee that every page on your site will work or be constantly up, but you can flip the script with a custom error page. A unique image, link back to your homepage, and place to report the issue will show customers that you're thinking about their experience, and get them re-engaged.
Better Error Pages is a free app run by StatusPage, a server status solution platform that helps companies communicate downtime issues with customers. With Better Error Pages, it's easy to create customized and responsive 404 error pages in less than a minute that you can put up on your website in no time.
Make Personalized Attention Automatic
People dread dealing with customer service largely because it feels impersonal. A problem is seriously pressing in the moment, but then customers get routed to a call center with terrible hold music, or get back a generic email response where they see they've been turned into a 10 digit customer response number.
You need to make customers feel like you're personally invested, but you don't need to craft individualized responses for every single stage of the customer response cycle, either. With the right tool, you can give customers personal attention, automatically.
Customer.io lets you create emails that automatically personalize with easy to use liquid tags. Starting off a response email with something as simple as a customer's first name makes them feel like they're not an anonymous support ticket. And with an initial free plan that lets you send hundreds of emails, any business can add that sort of personal touch to their support immediately.
Predict Problems Before Users Tell You
Not every customer who has a problem will go to customer support. Some will encounter a pain point and get confused, frustrated, or bored. They might stop using your product and churn out, without ever telling you why.
If you know where customers are encountering problems, you can fix them. Track the way your customers use your product, and you can identify pain points and proactively reach out to people before they come to you with a concern, or churn out completely.
Amplitude is an analytics platform for web and mobile apps that can help you figure out exactly how your customers are using your product. If every new sign up gets through your initial onboarding phase, but only half make it through the next step, you can segment out that group of users who didn't and send out a follow up email asking how you can help.
Amplitude's free plan includes millions of data events and analytics tools to let you analyze where people are succeeding in your app, and where they're struggling. It's like you're reading their mind, and winning them back before they even realize they have a problem.
Don't Make People Search for Answers
When a customer has a problem, they want an answer right at that moment. The longer you make them wait, the more likely their frustration will bubble over and they'll leave.
The worst thing is, you might have the answers to a whole range of questions, but customers won't wait to navigate to your FAQ page or chat with a support person. If they have to navigate away from their current page, it could be one step too many.
You need to bring helpful information to customers, so they can find it exactly where and when they need it. Help Scout, the all in one help desk platform, makes it easy to do for any company. Help Scout's Beacon is an embedded form that's easy to set up on any page of your website. Customers can search for answers to their questions, and support teams can give suggestions for helpful follow up information customized to that page.
As soon as a question pops into a user's head, they can find the answer and move on with their flow without ever having to leave the page. That's the kind of easy experience that will keep customers engaged and show you care about giving them the best possible experience.