How To Make Your Customer Service Outstanding: Tips For Startups

Many startups place customer service way down their priority list. Product development, deployment, marketing, promotion – these are the most important things, and customer service can wait.

Wrong. Customer service should be up there with product creation and marketing because, at the end of the day, it’s all about customers. They can be your best brand advocates. Or your Nemesis. It all depends on how you set up your customer service.

The customer service role in a successful startup cannot be overestimated. Your best strategy is to think about customer service already at the planning stage, so that when the real customers start coming in, you will be prepared.

#1 Use the right tools

For a truly professional customer service, an email inbox is not enough. Invest in a comprehensive communication software product that will cover all your needs, be convenient for your customers, and grow together with your business.

What might you possibly need? Today’s communication solutions often offer many communication channels and tools to create support resources:

  • Email
  • Voice call
  • Live chat
  • Knowledge base

With such a tool, you provide multiple ways for customers to reach you at their convenience. Another helpful hint – spend some time preparing and configuring your knowledge base. You won’t believe how many issues are resolved and questions answered with a good knowledge base. Besides, customers love it when they can find answers to their questions on their own.

When choosing customer service software, aim for the product that offers multiple options and supports knowledge base creation. Check, for example, HelpCrunch’s tool with live chat, knowledge base, and email in the same package.

#2 Focus on customer success

It is easy to get distracted by fine-tuning your customer support processes, setting up metrics, analyzing SLAs, and adjusting flows. Set that aside for the time being and concentrate on customer success – on making the customer see the value of your product and enjoy it.

Try to answer your customers’ requests as quickly as you can and close tickets soon. At the same time, provide quality service making sure that the customers’ issues are resolved and they can use your product to its full potential. Customer satisfaction is one of the main metrics of any service or product, and the support team can contribute to it greatly.

support

#3 Share customer service goals with the entire team

Your entire team is involved in fixing customers’ issues. To make customer service more efficient, share its goals with everybody on a regular basis. This way, there will be a continuous information exchange between the support team and development team with engineers quickly informed of the bugs that customers complain about and support agents updated about the time expectations and existing workarounds.

#4 Train you support agents

Of course, in a startup, the resources may be still too tight to afford a full support team and, most probably, your engineers will be doubling as support agents at the beginning. Still, they need to be trained to respond to customer’s requests properly and efficiently. Explain the importance of empathy and care in communicating with customers as well as the necessity to provide clear instructions. 

Later, when your business grows and you hire dedicated agents, the importance of training is even higher, as it helps your agents, too. When they are confident and calm, the quality of service improves. In order to ease the learning curve for your agents, implement a comprehensive onboarding flow including an employee handbook. This approach will help them get started quickly and begin to provide quality customer service. 

chat

The most sure-fire way of finding out whether your customer is satisfied with your product or the quality of your service is to ask. Add a simple feedback form or widget to your live chat or ask customers to rate your service in an email. The key point is to ask for feedback right after your interaction with the customer while their impression is still fresh and your brand is in the focus of their attention.

Customer feedback may become a source of valuable insights into how your service is really doing. Analyze the feedback and learn from it. Sometimes, you can find points of improvement where you did not expect them.

Conclusion

In any project, a good start is a foundation for success. When you are just launching your startup and setting up your customer service, spend some time to establish its key components: the tools, the team communication, the knowledge base, and, of course, the attitude. With these in place, you can move on and adjust as you go.

The main thing is to always place your customer in focus. Their success and satisfaction is the root of your success, so help them achieve it.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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