Among several must-have aspects of modern customer service are omnichannel support, personalization, co-creation etc, that are applicable to all types of businesses.
In this article, we‘ll explore successful customer service strategies peculiar to startups, which will help you increase customer satisfaction and grow your business. Let’s get straight to the point.
How a startup can provide an exceptional customer service
1. Instant 24/7 support
Immediate customer service can actually give you a significant competitive advantage over big companies where delays in reaction to customer queries are quite common. Be faster and be available 24/7 – use ultra-responsive, mobile-friendly tools, that will let you provide support anytime, anywhere.
For example, at HelpCrunch we use our own live chat that lets us serve customers even on the go, e. g. from a mobile device during weekends. Alternatively, we can switch the chat into an interactive offline mode that attends to customers’ messages when our team is not at the office.
2. Avoid delivering anonymous, robot-like service. Don’t be automated and tell customers who you are at the company. Ensure that all people who deal with customers have a company profile with a photo and some info – that earns people’s trust. Customers also appreciate a possibility to talk directly to a decision maker. In the case of HelpCrunch, people get impressed by being onboarded directly by our Chief Product Officer.
3. Have a well-thought customer service strategy but be ready to experiment. Don’t be too stiff, play with the format, style, channels, and structure of your customer interactions. For example, we’ve tried various texts in our live chat, to make sure it’s modern and speaks customers’ language. Flexibility should be one of your main assets.
4. Value a lot your early users and focus on retention. Don’t think only about growing your customer base. Build relationships with your existing clients – they will share their positive experiences about your product and service and this will bring you more prospects. For example, consider organizing a closed FB community for your early users.
Always follow up with your new users – whenever a company signs up for a trial, ask if they are happy with the product, need assistance or have questions or suggestions. Make all your communication personalized.
5. Get all your team support customers. When everyone talks to customers, your entire team stays tuned on their expectations, needs, and use cases. If there’s a purely technical issue at play, customers will appreciate having a fast and direct solution from a tech pro. In this way, you speed up the service and avoid a long message ping-pong between support and devs or engineers.
Moreover, your business will be always able to provide a good service even when a support person is away on holiday – other staff members will back him/her up successfully.
For example, here at HelpCrunch, depending on the situation, customer communication can be handled by support people, devs or managers. Even by me, as a content marketing manager.
6. Do customer support in-house. In-house support is definitely better for the early stage of your business development. You stay in close contact and are aware of all the inner workings of our product. A support person can always tap a tech pro on the shoulder and ask anything. That greatly facilitates your customer service. You can outsource customer support later as you grow.
7. Delight your customers with surprise perks. Deliver people more than they expect from our company. For example, we don’t advertise special discounts for startups on our website – they come as a surprise during the onboarding process. Also, we impress customers by providing a free personal onboarding assistant, who doesn’t only assist with installing the live chat but helps fine-tune it to customer’s specific business goals.
8. Treat criticism as a source of valuable insights. As you are just starting out with your product, criticism is not actually a bad thing. Listen carefully – it will help you improve your product, eliminate issues or bugs, and prioritize features that will help customers accomplish their goals. Remember that modern customers are no longer satisfied with a purely consumer role, they want to be co-creators of the product.
At HelpCrunch Live Chat, all customer feedback is stored in one place, and all team members have an access to it and see what needs to be done to improve.
We hope that this article was useful and will help you grow your startup. If you want more valuable tips on customer service, e-commerce, and productivity, subscribe to our blog.
Check these 7 elements of topnotch customer service management to make sure you're nailing it.