In the early days of a start-up, the primary focus is putting systems in place to acquire customers and develop an in-demand product or service. But what happens when that first customer arrives? And how do they get the level of support they deserve?
Start-ups that grow quickly often struggle with streamlining customer service. Here are seven tips for improving your start-up’s customer service, so they keep coming back for more.
Audit and Update Your Tools
Having the right tools in place can make or break a new company. One of the challenges is determining whether a tool is right for the business or just convenient to get started.
Set aside some time to audit the tools that are currently in place and what areas need development. Call center software might be better than having a single phone line to minimize wait times, for example. This will also improve the quality of your customer service efforts. As the company grows, you might also determine that having an integrated CRM platform is a necessity.
Review what tools are no longer suitable for your growing company and replace them as needed.
Train and Develop Your Skills
Much of customer service comes down to having the right people and the right training. During the early days, there might not be a single person devoted to customer service. As the business grows, it can be beneficial to have proper training and customer service specialists in place.
If hiring a dedicated customer service team isn’t feasible, schedule training and skills development for those who interact with leads and customers.
Break Down the Touchpoints
Determine where customers come into contact with your business. For some companies, it could range from in-person interactions to social media to call center conversations. Understanding where customers are approaching from will help determine which areas need development.
Break Down the Friction Points
It’s also important to hone in on friction points and determine where people are getting stuck in the customer journey.
An SaaS start-up might discover that they have no trouble converting leads into paying customers on their subscription service. However, they might find that customers are abandoning the service within the first month. This could indicate a need for better training and resources for customers to help them through the learning curve so that they can better understand the value of the platform.
Identifying sticking points will help you allocate resources more effectively.
Take a Proactive Approach
Rather than waiting for customers to come to you with a problem, go to them with a solution before the issue arises. There are various ways to accomplish a proactive approach to customer service, including regular follow-ups, a resource and training bank, and predicting what struggles someone might face.
Proactive customer service is another vital consideration for SaaS start-ups. It can be challenging to learn a new tool. Following up with customers and asking what they need or what questions they have will help limit friction points and boost retention.
Improve Your Response Time
There are many performance metrics that start-ups should be capturing. However, response time is one that often gets overlooked when implementing customer service procedures.
Your customer doesn’t want to wait for days to get a response. While it might take time to resolve an issue, the problem should be acknowledged and addressed within 24 hours. Implementing the right tools and protocols can help reduce response times. However, if you’re not capturing the data, you won’t be able to track the improvements.
Learn From Negativity
Remember that all customer feedback is valuable, even the negative stuff. While a positive review can act as social proof and attract more customers, negative feedback can act as a guidepost for making improvements.
Respond to all customer reviews and comments, even those that aren’t positive.
With these seven focal points, your start-up can implement changes and procedures to improve customer service. As many start-ups are quick to find out, without customers, there’s no company whatsoever, so neglecting this aspect of your new venture is not recommended.