How to use customer support as an engine for growth


Customer support is much more than just fast response times. In today's market, customer demands are ever increasing, and just being quick to respond doesn't cut it anymore.

Delivering a delightful customer experience starts with investing in your support teams. Not only does it show that you care about your customers, but it can also be a powerful engine for growth.

Customer support at SaaS is often seen as a cost center

One of the common mistakes that SaaS companies make is looking at customer support as a cost center, rather than the opportunity for growth that it actually is.

The most successful SaaS companies are those that listen to their customers, and invest in their customer support tools and teams. In fact, 84% of the companies that invest more in improving their customer support see a marked increase in their revenue. 

Improving your support teams means deeply understanding your users, solving their issues more efficiently, offering more than one way for your users to get in touch, and offering proactive support.

An empowered support team can drive growth, build loyalty and trust, and expand your user base.

That's why looking at customer support as merely a cost center is a mistake. It should always be considered an investment geared towards improving customer experience and driving growth.

Customer support is actually an engine for growth

Today, most customers make buying decisions based on good support experience. In fact, a recent report indicated that 96% of customers state that customer service is a primary consideration when deciding which brands they are loyal to.

This is how your support team has a direct impact on growth.

No user wants to be stuck repeating the same information to bots and different support agents over and over again.

Not only does it create frustration in the user, but it also wastes precious time for the agent.

Investing in the right tools and dedicated software, leads to faster and more efficient interactions, and less back and forth between agents and users.

How does customer support help companies scale and grow?

Traditionally, sales teams would be considered the major force of growth of a company.

However, with instant chat features on virtually any website, it is often the support teams that are the first point of contact for new users.

The upselling/cross-selling of products also often falls into support territory now, as it is a more natural process for a support agent to introduce new and more suitable features and products to a user when they reach out for help.

Fast response times is no longer enough. Excellent customer support means catering to each users' needs in a more intentional and personal way, and developing a deep understanding of how to best serve them.

Excellent customer service builds trust and credibility with customers, helping to create long-term relationships that can lead to future business opportunities.

In a world of ever-increasing options, customer support is the one factor that sets companies apart, making it critical to a company's success and growth.

1. Customer retention

You can't grow with a leaky bucket.

What does that mean? It means when your users are churning and choosing to do business elsewhere, you cannot sustain long-term growth.

Most customers base their repeat-buying decision on their experience, so good customer experience means less churn, and higher retention.

It is cheaper to retain existing users, than to attract new ones, so not only does good customer experience increase retention, it directly impacts your bottom line.

We tend to think of SaaS sales as selling to a business, but the truth is you are still selling to people, and people buy what their peers and colleagues buy.

If your existing customers get the best experience with your product, they will most likely recommend it to others.

2. Bridge the gap   

Silos prevent you from delivering excellent customer support.

It's easy for different teams in your company to get stuck in their own respective areas, yet it's to the benefit of your business to make sure silos don't build up over time.

The fact is, everyone at your company should understand what good customer support and experience is. This is especially true for product and support teams.

It may not seem necessary for your developers to understand or interact with your customers, but in reality they miss out on important product feedback and information when they don't actively build a solid understanding of your users.

A major problem in support today is exactly this - information gathered by support agents doesn't make it back to product teams. And when product teams get involved in technical support cases, they don't have enough context to solve the problems efficiently.

When the gap between the users of the product and developers is bridged, the end result is a product that meets the users' needs.

3. Lower churn and higher LTV

Repeating this again, because it's that important. Excellent customer support leads to happier customers, which eventually lowers the churn rate and increases the Life Time Value (LTV) of the customer. If you're a growing SaaS business, or any business for that matter, this is vital.

4. More data

One of the critical roles that your support team plays is getting feedback from customers about their overall experience with the product.

The procedure for collecting data could either be direct or indirect, qualitative or quantitative. No matter the method used, data about the users' experience with the product is always valuable.

A strong customer support team knows how to ask the right questions, prompting customers to share their honest opinions about the product.

Other teams in the company can use this feedback to make improvements to everything from product, to marketing and sales.

5. Closer relationship

Building a great SaaS company requires having a close relationship with your customers. Great customer support and experience starts with building a close relationship with your users.

There are many ways to do this, but generally users don't feel personally catered to when they have to solve their own problems through chat bots or self-service support solutions.

To foster trust and loyalty, there should be real touch points between users and support agents in your company. People want to talk with people.

You can get further with a product that isn't the best in the market, but offers a great customer experience, than with an amazing product and a crappy customer experience.  

6. More conversions 

As mentioned earlier, your customer support team is often the first touch point new (and existing) users have with your company.

This means your support team is uniquely positioned to upsell products and services when they are in direct contact with the user and understand what their pain-points are.

A user that reaches out to the support team with a problem, might not be aware of another product/service your business offers that could help them in the future, but your support agents can make them aware of this in a less sales-y way, while they're helping them solve their issue.

Most companies see customer support as a cost center that is necessary to keep customers happy, but fail to realize the true potential of their support teams.

The goal is to minimize costs and provide a basic level of service. Yet, when adequately empowered, customer support can be an engine for growth, and businesses that understand this invest in their teams from day 1.

If you'd like to see how Fullview can empower your support teams to deliver a faster and more personalized support experience, reach us at hello@fullview.io or sign up to our waitlist here.

Author

Emma Bakh

CX Manager

Contributor