What is the role of support in your business today? How does customer support align or contribute to your growth strategy?
Support teams bring major benefits to both the customers they’re helping as well as the company as a whole. However, there are differing schools of thought about what the role of support should be, and how it should be perceived in business strategy.
Here we’ll explore two of the key mantras or goals that countless businesses of all sizes and industries align with. Consider which resonates best with you.
The best service is no service
When Bill Price published his game-changing book “The Best Service is No Service” in 2008, it shook the customer service world, with its nuanced perspective on how and why we engage with customers. The unique principles he explores through his writing apply directly to the realm of customer support, and his compelling ideas are adopted by companies across the globe.
Just imagine - if your products and services offered comprehensive onboarding and help tools, as well as an easy to understand interface and purchasing path, maybe you wouldn’t need so many people on your support team. Perhaps if your product was simpler and easier to use, your support teams wouldn’t need to continually answer the same questions. The best experience your customers or clients can have is when they can simply reap the benefits of using your product, without having to go out of their way to seek help.
For example, it’s a waste of time for your support teams to be spending their days answering technical questions about a complex product. Instead, viewing these interactions as a dysfunction rather than just as a necessary process, shifts the burden onto the product itself to be improved so that this isn’t required anymore.
The best service is no service is what many businesses drive towards. While it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever want to completely rid yourself of support teams in your company, it’s a good way of exploring how to improve the product. And meanwhile use your human resources to do all that complex technical support, that can't be handled by self-service tools like support articles or chat bots.
Using support to drive business growth
Shift the common perception that support is merely a cost center and instead discover its potential as a critical driver of revenue and business growth. Recent trends have shown how customer support can be transformed into a surprisingly effective marketing initiative. How can this work in practice? There are a few key strategies to highlight here.
When engaging directly with customers, it’s an invaluable opportunity to drive further product adoption, whether you’re cross-selling an additional product from your suite or upselling to a premium tier. The customer has reached out to you to start a conversation, rather than you cold-calling out of nowhere, so you already have a stronger chance of success. Seize the moment to educate your customers about what else you have for them so that they can attain even greater value from your offerings.
Additionally, there are benefits of proactively reacting to customer’s behaviour in your products. By tracking and monitoring behaviors, this can trigger interaction points where it’s an optimal time to engage and support, so they get maximum value with minimal friction. Implement a solid coverage of analytics and you’ll quickly gain a deep understanding of the pain points in your product, or the common patterns that lead to conversion and retention.
Which support mission do you stand for?
These are some of the differing perceptions of customer support and their role in the business. On one hand, it’s a way to rectify the downfalls of your products or services and give assistance when needed. On the other hand, it’s a clever opportunity to drive business growth and marketing. Perhaps it’s a balance of both. Either way, customer support is a powerful mechanism to achieve success for your business and is undoubtedly an impactful investment.