Every small and medium business owner knows that customer support requires massive investments. Yet, statistics say that 84% of companies that invest in customer support report their revenue has increased.
So, when you run a small and medium-sized enterprise, it is important to find that happy medium between investing in different staff departments. That’s why here are the 7 ways to cut costs on customer support yet provide excellent client service and get all the consequent benefits.
Why ensure proper training is important for your team?
A professional support agent is well-aware of all the features of their company’s product or service, has an idea about the process behind its manufacturing or delivering and knows where to reach to get extra information. Thus, they can resolve the issues at the first point of contact and have fewer return calls.
A well-trained customer support agent can easily multitask. It becomes ordinary for them to talk on the phone and check emails or social media messages simultaneously. This means you can hire fewer agents without any drops in customer satisfaction and subsequently in profit.
On the other hand, the 2019 Workplace Learning report by LinkedIn shows that 94% of employees are willing to stay with the company that invests in their learning. Therefore, regular training is a good way to cut employee turnover and avoid spending costs on new talent search and hire for both small and large businesses.
Use automated tools for assistance
Scientists express concern regarding the possible negative impact of monotonous work on one’s mental health. For a customer support agent, repetitive tasks can lead to a decrease in productivity and burnout. Having introduced automation to your support department processes, you free your agents for performing high-value tasks and make them happier.
For example, using a call tracking service, you can measure your calls, avoid missed calls, and get a significant indicator of your marketing effectiveness. It allows you to better allocate your costs and avoid killing a great ad campaign. Even more, since call tracking is integrated with your CRM, a customer support agent can see all the information about the caller and faster catch up on the issue.
They can also provide highly personalized service, which is valued by customers according to the CMO council. Better client experience, for its part, reduces churn and lowers your expenses on customer engagement.
Another great tool that helps to handle multiple conversations simultaneously is a customer communication platform. It simplifies the work of a customer service agent by directing queries to a linked member, providing basic information about a customer, tracking data, and collecting feedback.
One of the most popular customer support tools of this kind is Intercom. However, for SMEs with limited resources, Intercom pricing may be too expensive. So it is smart to check on their competitors, choose the solution on your budget and save money.
Again, automating some customer service functions means you need fewer employees, thus making it a great cost-cutting technique.
Adopt a cross-channel approach for reaching more customers
According to a SalesForce survey, about 60% of consumers and 80% of business representatives expect a real-time response from companies. And that means if you miss a request from a customer, you will probably lose them along with all the revenue they could bring.
The State of Service report shows that such customer service channels as voice-activated assistants, video support, mobile chat, and discussion forums along with online apps will get the most use in the following years. So, if you want your clients satisfied, you should provide support across all the channels they prefer to use.
To ensure a timely and efficient response, consider using omnichannel software. Having a history of conversation available with each specific customer, your support agents can be more productive as they spend less time solving an issue.
Thus, an omnichannel solution is a great way to boost requests resolution rate, deliver highly personalized support, improve customer experience, and lower expenses on customer support.
Answer questions before they arise with an FAQ section
Go through the records of customer queries to your support department, and you will likely find many similar ones. Why not answer these questions altogether in a FAQ section on your website?
All the more that the Harvard Business Review shows that over 80% of customers try to take care of matters on their own before they decide to reach out to a business representative.
By giving your customers the needed information up front, you reduce the workload of your customer care team and cut costs. To create a good FAQ, think of the typical ways your clients can interact with your product or cases when they are likely to need your service and create informative guides.
Even better if you’ll go the extra mile and build a solid knowledge base. For this, collect the previous issues cases, typical problems, temporary fixes and other guidance so both your customers and support agents can use them to resolve an issue quickly.
Design your website properly for a better user experience
The ongoing pandemic has pushed businesses in all sectors to adopt at least some of the online selling techniques. Most of them involve creating a website or at least a landing page with basic information about a product or service, and a “contact us” page for customers seeking for extra details. A well-designed contact page can streamline customer requests to connect them with the relevant agent thus saving time and increasing customer satisfaction.
At the same time, usability studies found a link between design aesthetic and user performance. Specifically, they proved that an aesthetically appealing design helps to quickly locate the searched information and complete tasks faster.
So, building a visually pleasing website, you improve a number of business metrics, including user retention and productivity, and client loyalty. Also, as users find the needed information quicker, they tend to reach out for support less often, which cuts costs.
Set a forum for increasing the engagement with your community
A forum is a great way to build a community around your company, product or service. This is a place, where your clients and potential customers can find answers to the most common queries, chat about your product or service, and you can get some precious insights.
It involves little to no investment as you can choose from a variety of software from messaging apps to website builders.
At the same time, by giving your customers a place where they can ask for advice from other users, you cut the number of calls to your support center and reduce costs. Forum discussions also build trust and stimulate word-of-mouth advertising.
The usage of social media can be useful for assisting your audience
Recent stats on social media use by Hootsuite show that the majority of customers under the age of 25 turn to social media for company assistance. And that’s easy to understand given the nature of social media: space where users can freely comment, share issues and excitement.
In turn, as a Forrester study suggests, providing support through social media channels requires less funding compared to traditional call centers. This can be explained by the fact that social media platforms cost nothing to use since you don’t have to pay for phone lines and answering services.
Additionally, the same study says that a timely response received through a social media channel results in a higher willingness to pay for products or services. Marketers explain this phenomenon with the fact that the freedom of interaction offered by social media creates a sense of community and boosts customer advocacy. However, matters should be taken care of quickly as high user expectations in regards to social media leave no space for mistakes.
All in all, each of these 7 tips is a step towards developing a “business cost-friendly” mindset that will help your medium or small business to reduce costs on customer support little by little every day. With due determination, it is possible to provide efficient customer support and have high customer satisfaction rates while keeping expenditures low.
About the author: Hello! I am Alan and I am the marketing manager at Callbell, the first communication platform designed to help sales and support teams to collaborate and communicate with customers through direct messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram and (soon) Instagram Direct