Customer support is extremely important for building long term relationships and decreasing your customer churn rate. It’s a simple equation; the longer your can keep your existing customers around and happy, the more money you’ll make!
Support tools can also be used indirectly as sales tool. Nowadays, your customers expect to be able to go to your marketing site and receive support for any issues they encounter with your product or service. Prospective customers who see that these support resources are readily available get a sense of comfort in knowing that you care about your existing customers’ support needs. When a customer or visitor arrives on your site, it’s important to have your phone number on every page of your site in a highly-visible area so they can easily reach out to you for sales inquiries or support issues. The phone is the most obvious sales and support tool but you can’t rely just on the phone.
Here are 5 common website support tools that can double as sales tools:
- Contact Form – having a short form on your pages that gathers prospective customer inquiry information is a great way to get customer support inquiries. It’s also an important medium for acquiring leads online. A form also helps you collect the right data for a support inquiry, something an email address by itself can’t do. Here are 5 tips to make your form shine.
- Chat – sometimes your prospective/existing customers do not have the time to call or email but they still need to speak with someone immediately. This is where chat can be a huge help, especially for larger companies that receive thousands of support calls a day and have long hold times, which can really frustrate people. There’s a reason why there are websites out there like GetHuman.com that tell you the shortest path to get directly to a person within the company you’re calling instead of dealing with those annoying automated answering services. Chat support representatives are usually more knowledgeable and can answer support questions quickly as well as present up-sale opportunities. There are a couple of great chat clients out there that you can install on your website like BoldChat and LivePerson.
- Knowledge Base – a knowledge base is a centralized repository for information regarding your product or service. It serves as an online help manual where you can add content regarding frequently asked support and sales questions. Having a knowledge base shows your prospective clients that you listen to and genuinely care about your customers issues and questions. The knowledge base also has an additional side benefit. It is a support resource, but it also helps with your content marketing strategy by adding more keyword-rich pages to your website that are crawled, indexed and returned by the search engines when queried. A couple of great tools you can use to build an online knowledge base are Desk.com and Zendesk.
- Social Media – another great way to support your product or service is by reviewing questions and issues posted directly on your company’s Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn page. You can dedicate one of your support reps to monitoring these pages and have them reply directly to sales opportunities and support inquires. Your company cannot afford to have negative mentions on your social media outlets because as we know, word-of-mouth is worth its weight in gold. Therefore, it is crucial to have someone available to respond to and resolve things quickly when they come up.
- Video – having demo videos on your site that show how your product works can be great for marketing and support reasons alike. Make sure to keep your videos focused and short. People aren’t going to watch your 10 minute video that details all the ins and outs of your product when all they want is an answer to one or two simple questions. Embedding the specific topic videos on their corresponding knowledge base pages is a great way to tie these two tools together. Be sure to add closed-captions so that the search engines can find your videos and know what they are about.
The quicker you can answer prospective customer questions and build a level of trust, the quicker you can convert them into customers. Trust and confidence are two of the most important factors when converting prospects into customers. The more support resources you make available to your existing customers, the more opportunities you have of increasing that trust and building healthy business relationships that benefit both your company’s and your customers’ bottom lines for the long run.