customer support

5 Ways Startups Can Provide Authentic Customer Support

Customer support is in a state of revival, which is a good thing. Companies that lack basic levels of customer service and sympathy for their customers run the risk of being berated online.

Bad experiences of customer support are now being recorded and spread like wildfire on social media, forcing companies to put customer service back into the forefront of their minds. The trend is even affecting some of the most highly competitive markets, such as air travel, which historically has only needed to compete by offering the lowest price. These companies have quickly realized consumers will pay a little extra to go out of their way to avoid companies that show extremely poor customer support.

As a startup, authentic customer support is an advantage that you can capitalize on from day one. It allows you to tap into one of the greatest resources for any company: the customer.

Customers often know better than anyone what’s great and what’s not so great about your company. Here are five ways your startup can provide better and more authentic customer support.

Don’t disregard the phone

The phone is your number one tool for connecting with customers, and so many companies underutilize it or misuse it. One of the best experiences I’ve ever had was with a company called Chewy, that placed their phone number front and center. If you have any issues, you can simply call and be connected with the customer support team immediately without having to jump through voice prompts or waiting music.

Providing customer support over the phone is still a simple and effective tool that should not be underestimated in today’s digital age.

Related: 5 Ways to Totally Impress Your Clients on the Phone

Set up a live chat

Does anyone actually enjoy digging through a company’s website to hunt down contact details for the support team? The answer is no.

Don’t make it unnecessarily difficult for your customers to reach out to you when they need help. There are plenty of chatbot software options that make initiating a live conversation with your customers right on your website easy and fun.

Utilize webinars to reach the masses

The best kind of support is proactive support. Webinars are an excellent way for you to show your customers how to use your products or services. Because webinars tend to be open enrollment, they allow your startup to scale your efforts and connect with more customers all at once.

Bonus: You can record your webinars, then reshare them on social media or within your existing knowledge center or help page on your website.

Be proactive with customer feedback calls

How do you know what problems your customers are facing while signing up for your product or service? Where were the steps they struggled with or when did they need to reach out for support?

Another proactive approach to customer support is to set up customer feedback calls. Tap into your existing paying customers and gather their feedback. This tactic will not only help you build out better help articles, but it will also create a smoother onboarding process, which can lead to less customer support tickets overall.  

Bonus: Don’t forget to reward these customers for their helpful feedback.

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Build meaningful relationships

Do you know why your customers are using your products or services? Go beyond the surface to find out. If you offer a product or service that helps save your customers time, it’s important to figure out where they are spending that newly acquired time and demonstrate how much value you are truly providing your customers.  

Furthermore, knowing who your customers are and building meaningful relationships with them will help you understand how your startup is helping make their lives easier. Once you truly understand your customers and how to help them, you can stay one step ahead of them and be able to introduce the next features or products they will need right on cue.

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