5 Critical Customer Service Tips For Startups

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During the founding stage of your company, your limited budget will not allow you to build a large customer service team or invest in expensive tools. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve customer support and boost customer satisfaction. Here are five of them!

#1 Talk Regularly About Common Customer Issues

As your company evolves, silos will develop. They prevent your teams from communicating and collaborating effectively.

To reduce the silo mentality, schedule regular meetings to review customer issues and improve their buyer journeys faster. Bring your marketing, customer support, and product development teams together and encourage them to share data and experiences.

Customer service data is an essential learning tool for other teams. For example, marketing teams will use this information to create personalized marketing campaigns. Sales teams will rely on customer data to upsell and cross-sell faster. For product development teams, that is an opportunity to learn more about customer frustrations and update products to boost their satisfaction.

On the other hand, the collaboration with the sales, product development, and marketing team will benefit your customer service representatives, too. By staying on top of the latest product updates and marketing campaigns, they will be able to provide customers with insightful feedback and gain their trust.

#2 Collect Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is critical for the success of your startup’s customer support. It helps your customer service representatives understand what they are doing right or wrong. Above all, it provides clear and unbiased insights into customer satisfaction and behaviors.

There are many ways to collect customer feedback, both directly and indirectly.

For example, top VoIP telephony providers offer call analytics features. For example, Nextiva lets you measure customer sentiment and customer experience to determine. Call recording solutions allow your customer service agents to focus on the conversation with customers and review the recording later.

There are also many customer feedback collection tools to gather customer feedback. That way, you will be able to collect customer feedback across multiple channels, be it your website, email, mobile app, or SMS.

There are many types of customer satisfaction surveys. For example, you could create an NPS survey after your customer service case is closed. In other words, once a customer service agent provides feedback, you could ask them how likely they are to recommend your company to their friends or families on a 0-10 scale.

#3 Hire Employees With Great Communication Skills

Startups and small businesses usually build service teams of up to five people. Small customer support teams often need to wear multiple hats, such as call center management, managing social media communities, answering mounds of emails, etc.

To make the most out of this tactic, you need to hire the right people – ones with exceptional communication skills. Your customer service representatives need to be kind, empathetic, and good at working with people. They need to understand who your customers are and what problems they face.

Above all, your customer service representatives should understand your startup’s missions and values and communicate them to your target audience.

#4 Provide Omnichannel Customer Support

Today’s customers use multiple channels to communicate with brands. Logically, they expect your startup to be there for them 24/7. To build trust with them and retain them, you should create a spotless omnichannel customer service strategy.

Improve Your Call Center

Choose business phone service providers that offer advanced call center options. For example, many VoIP companies offer virtual voicemail and call routing. These services allow you to bundle your customer support channels, such as your call center, email, or live chat, and manage them on a single dashboard. They even integrate with your CRM, helping you keep vital customer data in a single location.

Use Live Chat

Add live chat options on your website and social channels to humanize your customer support and provide friendly and faster feedback.

Take Advantage Of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

For example, with AI chatbots, you can now be available to customers 24/7, irrespective of their location. New AI-powered bots are smart – they provide immediate feedback, learn new things about customers from each interaction, and provide relevant feedback. That way, you will show customers that you are there for them whenever they need you.

Leverage Social Networks

Social networks have become one of the most significant customer support channels. And, you can use them to build stronger relationships with customers. For starters, rely on social media listening tools, such as Hootsuite or Mention. Your goal is to track your brand and product mentions so you can provide customers with immediate feedback.

Use live chat and chatbots to engage audiences and provide faster feedback. Twitter and Facebook even offer in-app live chat and AI customer service tools.

You could also create an online community, where your customers can share experiences with your brand and communicate easier.

#5 Have A Knowledge Base

Rather than routing minor customer inquiries to your customer support team, you should let your customers find answers to their questions on their own. Stats say that 40% of customers prefer self-service. And, one of the most effective ways to provide self-service options is to create a knowledge base.

Your knowledge base should be easily navigable and intuitive. Create guides, how-to manuals, and helpful articles. Classify your content into logical sections and provide a search box for those customers that know what they are looking for.

You should also create a specific section for helpful content, such as comprehensive guides or video tutorials on your website. Similar to your knowledge base, their goal is to provide customers with actionable tips on how to use your product.

That way, your customer service teams will be able to focus on more complicated customer support inquiries.

Over To You

As a startup owner with a small team and a limited budget, you will need to juggle numerous responsibilities. And, the quality of customer support should be your priority. When managed strategically, it will maximize customer satisfaction, boost sales, and encourage customer loyalty.

Never observe your customer support as an isolated phenomenon. Instead, make it a team-wide effort by encouraging continuous collaboration between your sales, marketing, product development, and customer service departments.




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