Customer service is essential to all companies, but it’s especially critical for startups. Aside from being a new business, startups are companies introducing a unique product or service to the market. Because the offering is new, it’s bound to encounter issues during its initial release, particularly usability and performance.
With that, startups need to keep a pulse on their customer satisfaction. Only the end-users can accurately say whether the product or service is functioning the way it was intended. This is why startups should rely significantly on their customers’ insights and experiences to improve their offerings.
To do this, you need a
Below are three customer service strategies every budding startup should implement:
1. Ask for feedback
Again, customer feedback is critical to your service or product development, so you need to ask for it actively. Customer feedback can come in many forms: reviews, opinions, suggestions and comparisons with other brands. Even complaints and negative reviews can be valuable since they show you areas for improvement and highlight problems with the product that you may have overlooked during the development phase.
Apart from aiding in your product development, collecting feedback also helps customers trust you more. According to a 2019 Microsoft report, 89 per cent of consumers want businesses to ask for their input. Listening to their opinion on a product or service makes them feel valued, which improves their perception of your brand.
This means that, more often than not, customers are willing to answer your questions and feedback forms. Just make sure that your surveys are quick and easy so that customers won’t see them as a nuisance.
Another feedback collection method that startups can use is community forums. Forum websites provide a space for your customers to interact and share their experiences, opinions and tips about using your product or service with each other. They can also leave questions for you. The forum makes your answer public so that anyone can see the information in case they have a similar query.
2. Set up a knowledge base
The Salesforce’s 2020 State of Service Report revealed that 78 per cent of consumers have started using self-service customer service options more since the pandemic hit. This means that they’d instead solve their problem or look for the answer themselves before calling a business’s support centre for help.
A knowledge base is one of the most accessible forms of self-service support solutions you can implement. It’s an online directory that collates information, such as FAQs, how-to guides, tutorial videos and technical documentation, into one place.
Your knowledge base resolves problems and answers questions that commonly come up with your product or service users. It’s the ideal resource for consumers who prefer to deal with the situation themselves instead of talking to a customer support agent.
Another advantage of setting up a knowledge base is that it boosts your SEO efforts. Google is the first place customers go to when they have a question. If your knowledge base is optimised for search, then it’ll appear on the search engine results page every time someone looks up something related to your product or service.
Other than a knowledge base, startups can also benefit from other self-service support options like a chatbot or FAQs page. A community portal is also considered a customer self-service channel.
3. Provide a human option
Businesses need a customer contact centre, even in the digital age. Customers still want the option to talk to a human customer service agent in case their concern isn’t easily solvable through self-service options.
But building a customer support centre takes more than just having people man the phones. You need to invest in upskilling your agents to make sure they provide the excellent support that your customers expect, especially if your products or services are complex. You need to have highly trained customer agents who understand your offerings back to front.
Additionally, BT Openreach will be switching off all PSTN services by 2025, which means you’ll have to migrate to VoIP if you’re still using traditional phone networks. Making the switch now helps your startup stay abreast of industry changes.
These are only a few customer service solutions that startups can implement. You should also examine your customers’ digital behaviours and psychographics to determine which support channels and strategies suit their needs and expectations.
As long as you design your customer support strategy around the needs of your target market, your startup can get the valuable data it needs for continuous product development while fostering deeper relationships with your customers – catapulting business success.
If you want to learn more about the role of customer service in business growth, check out our Customer Service: Key to Growing Your Small Business blog. For enquiries about business communications solutions, fill out our contact form.