10 Must Have feature in Customer Support Software
We don't have the time or money to go down that road. And like a lot of things the big guys lose sight of it's really not the best way. With so many customers emailing customer support each day, those insights are right in front of you. It's something most companies overlook, but for small teams especially, you can't afford not to leverage your inbox.
Here are ten ways you can use customer support software to improve growth, increase revenue, and prevent churn.
Track customer requests to build better features
start to siphon growth from your customer service management software by treating it as a live feed for product-market fit. We prioritize developing every new feature or product offering based on customer data.
Our customer support team uses tags to identify the topic of each email. These tags show us what customers want so we can focus on the most impactful work.
You can use the reporting features within your customer service software to track topics over time. This allows you to work on adding products or services to your business that you know your customers will buy.
Review search history to improve product UX
We position our widget and knowledge base on the front-lines of our communication channels to track what customers are looking for with every inquiry.
So even if they don't hit the email inbox, we can keep track of customer concerns and product inquiries. And since most customers actually prefer self-service, this represents a more accurate view of our entire user base.
Our Knowledge Base reports tip us off to product gaps. Maybe a certain feature doesn't work the way customers expect it to. Or a flow could be more intuitive.
We use the “most searched terms” report from our help desk software to make UX improvements. Our goal is to make our product so intuitive that customers don't need to seek out additional information.
Treat general inquiries as sales leads
That little widget is often where potential customers start, as well as current ones. Website visitors ask general questions or inquire about pricing plans.
And suddenly a support conversation becomes a sales conversation.
The ability to leverage your customer support software as a growth mechanism is clearest in this scenario. We treat these potential customers as sales leads, tag their correspondence as such, and make sure to follow up.
We can check back the next day to see if they have any other questions before making a decision. Or encourage them to watch our demo and start a free trial.
It's a great way to show off your customer service skills while secretly doing customer success.
Use bug reports to determine hiring needs
The job description for every customer service agent includes a thorough understanding of bug reporting. But triaging these issues reflects the way your entire company operates.
At Groove, we use tag insights to track lingering technical issues. We'll group similar problems to see trends. This data helps us see where our product is lacking so we can fix it.
Ultimately, this information helps us hire the appropriate staff. We've devoted engineers to certain parts of our infrastructure that were constantly causing problems. And, in doing so, we saw a marked improvement in these customer reports.
Get marketing insights from customer emails
Take my advice as someone who worked at a company that used entirely different language than their customers this is not great customer experience.
Your support team will end up answering basic questions all day. You'll need a glossary of terms just to communicate with customers.
Using your own made-up jargon may seem cool to you or your marketing team, but I have yet to meet a customer who actually uses these foreign terms. It ends up distancing you from your customers and misaligning expectations.
Give your marketing team access to the inbox. Encourage them to read customer emails. Note the language real customers use. Then put it into your own marketing materials and social media.
Leverage failed searches for new product development
Back to our widget and knowledge base software you'll see search terms in your report dashboard that simply fail. Why? Because you don't offer that feature or product.
This data often gets ignored. You think, “Okay, customers searched for something, we don't have it. So they left. What else is there to do?”
Make that thing!
For us, this has led to developing a new live chat feature. For you, it may be a new line of products for your e-commerce store.
Don't view this as a knowledge base failure, view it as demand generation for future product offerings.
Upsell to solve customer problems
I present another thinly veiled customer success tactic hiding behind customer support. Use your customer support software to create canned replies that encourage upsells.
This works for most companies with varying price points. And is especially important for companies with free versions of their product. Let customers know that their problem can be resolved by upgrading or purchasing.
But be careful not to offer upgrading as the only option—or even the first option. This is why you'll want to stay within the customer support realm and create a thoughtfully worded canned reply that other reps can use.
Attempt to resolve the issue, or offer a workaround, then present the upsell as an easier alternative.
Find happy customers for marketing materials
The “Marketing” folder within our shared inbox is one of the happiest places on Earth. It contains all our happy customers and NPS promoters.
After particularly good customer interactions, our support agents move tickets into this folder. Then, our marketing team reaches out for testimonials.
We'll write case studies, testimonials, and feature stories based on these customer successes. All of these efforts, in turn, bring us more leads and more customers.
Involve customer support in cancellation requests to prevent churn
This one's a little controversial. And I understand each side of the argument. It's not the best customer experience to force customers to send an email or to phone a call center to cancel their subscription. But from the business' side, letting customers cancel without any understanding of their decision is just as dangerous.
We've experimented with both options here at Groove. When customers could cancel on their own, we worked hard to pinpoint high-risk events and prevent churn by reaching out before they made their move.
When COVID-19 hit, we put the fence back up and asked customers to email us in order to cancel. It turned out a lot of our small business owners needed to cut costs. They didn't want to leave, and weren't sure how to handle support without using our customer support software, but they had to save money.
We stepped up to meet the demands of our community and decided to extend our free trial to those affected by the pandemic. It ended up benefiting our customers to reach out prior to cancellation, rather than standing in their way.
When self-service cancellations resume, we'll include an automated exit survey to capture data from departing customers to help us create better experiences moving forward.
Provide and encourage team-wide access to inspire customer-centric ideation
Startup life is an all-hands-on-deck type of thing. And any company that claims to be “customer-centric” should make sure they're also “customer-support-centric.”
This means that everyone in your company should know their way around your customer support system.
Engineers can grab more information about a bug from the customer's report, without bugging (pun not intended, I swear!) a support rep to middleman the interaction. Designers can see how customers respond to UX changes. Marketing can get ideas for blogs based on real customer pain points.
Collaboration is much easier when we can all reference the same customer inquiry.
Groove was built to help non-techies and non-support people feel comfortable using customer support software. No special access or knowledge required. Just a desire to love your customers and grow your business. Start your free trial today.
The best customer support software makes this easy to do
When every dollar you spend matters, as is true for all small businesses owners, your tools can't just do one thing. They must be jacks of all trades. Able to adapt as your business grows.
We built Groove with growing businesses in mind. It's the software we needed at past startups that didn't exist. Our biggest wins have come from real customer input. They can all be traced back to our customer emails.
Thes best customer support software makes all of this easy to do. It's the breeding ground for great ideas, improved offerings, and some really obvious growth opportunities.