Proven Ways Successful Startups Are Handling Customer Service In 2019
Even without dedicated customer support staffs and a big budget, bootstrapped startups can nonetheless provide and execute the kind of CX (Customer Experience) that most big establishments dream of.
Now, startups by its very nature are fortunate not to languish on outdated processes and bureaucracy that mostly gets in the way of providing world-class customer service as it happens with large organizations.
Additionally, startup businesses if they are using a CRM for small business are fortunate to not have too many customers in their CRM database than most old businesses within the same industry.
Hence, viewing things from this perspective startups and small organizations are capable of offering a great experience to their customers, right from marketing to the point of purchase and even beyond, and also avoid the deadly shackles of processes and bureaucracy.
However, as we discussed even before startups on the flip side do not have the budgets that enterprises have to employ a large-scale customer support team, and so staffs in any startup need to split their time across several functions starting from lead generation to after sales support.
Now, customers do not really care anything about this!
This is because their expectation about how a company treats their customers do not necessarily alter by the size or age of the brand, which is especially true when customers have questions and face challenges with their purchase(s).
Therefore, in modern times, small businesses and startups have to punch much above their weight for delivering services to their customers with fewer resources on their hand.
Hence to perform this uphill task, here are half a dozen proven techniques and best practices to help startups stand tall in the crowd and make a deep and significant impression with the early customer-base in their list:
1. Let customer service be everyone’s job
Even with small businesses and startups, there can be several hoops and hierarchies that customers may need to leap over before they find someone who can address their pain-points and needs.
However, this can be an astonishing surprise for the customers when the head of a startup organization rolls up his/her sleeves and shows the customer that they want to be connected to what their customer’s care about.
For example, when everyone else in the team seems to be too busy, the best entrepreneur is one who tends to be quick to jump on to address a customer’s call and resolve issues personally to demonstrate their brand’s commitment to providing their buyers with an outstanding experience.
Therefore, small organizations and startup in modern times thrive when customer support becomes everyone’s job.
2. Take the lead on escalation
It is really irritating and exasperating to be on a support call with an agent, or be in a text or email exchange, and realize that the person you are addressing does not have the necessary knowledge or skills to solve your issue.
This reaches the heights of infuriation when the customer ultimately has to ask: “Is there anyone else in your organization you can transfer me to?”
Hence in the modern times of cutthroat competition, startups can take advantage of mobile technology, and their small and well-knit team to reach the correct person right away, once someone encounters a roadblock. They can easily bring in their colleagues into the conversation before the unhappy and trouble-ridden customer gets impatient.
This is because when you take a lead on escalating a problem it shows to the customer that you care and is acting the same way as a customer would have done themselves to resolve their problem.
3. Use social media proactively
Nothing can beat a startup organization that manages to be ‘proactive’, rather than act ‘reactively’ in the customer service they offer to their consumers.
Now, the growth of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others implies that in the present time brands can gain unprecedented insights into conversions between their customers, using a social listening enabled easily to use CRM platform.
Therefore startup businesses can take advantage of monitoring ‘Hashtags’ related to their brand, offerings, industry, and their marketplace, or even any other common term connected with their customer’s needs, and offer support if required rather than wait for the consumers to reach out and ask for help later on.
4. Personalize all interactions
In the old times, businesses would send the same flyers and brochures to every single customer, irrespective of whether they are new or someone who had been purchasing from them for years.
However, with the growth of best small business CRM software platforms, especially Salesforce Alternative CRM software solutions that are extremely affordable for startups, in the recent year personalization has swept through marketing and so any successful modern startup must also start to look at delivering services on a personal level.
Therefore, now as per product age or according to the need to be replaced, customer service teams of startup organizations can alert their customers on an individual basis and also render smart suggestions about what to buy next, based on their knowledge about the customers stored in their CRM database.
Now, this is exactly where most smart startups make their service generated revenue when support reps are capable of making personal shopping advice to the customers rather than mere troubleshoot as it was prevalent in the past.
5. Remain grateful and improve in every encounter
Most service calls in general ends with the support agent asking the customers if they need anything more once their issues have been resolved.
However, as startups and small businesses are always in a learning mode, take comments by text feedbacks, phone, and even share direct messages on social media and look out for ways to improve your services.
Moreover, while big organizations may pay ongoing attention to their highest value customers, startup businesses can take their time and effort to send personalized notes to all their customers (on one year of their partnership) including their name, and looking back on the offering that the customers have used and also share knowledge or educational contents that will further help the customers.
6. Learn from the best
Finally, while these above-mentioned strategies are just the beginning, startups due to their lack of set-in-stone processes can easily change and adapt to new insights and customer needs.
Therefore, to conclude, find a community of entrepreneurs, and thereafter host meet-ups, webinars, hackathons, and other networking events and use these opportunities to learn more about marketing and customer service strategies, to harness sales growth and create an awesome world-class customer experience that can rival big establishments in their way to success.
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