Today’s customers expect more. Customer support as a service is the key to meeting those expectations. As a business you should strive to deliver the best overall customer experience.
Historically, customer service does not get a great reputation. Customers frequently feel they have to put up with long wait times, marginal customer service and canned scripts. The negative environment has made customers weary of poor experiences. It also pushes customers to want to share their experiences.
The internet and social media is the platform that enables the customer’s voice. It gives customers a way to share their issues with others when companies fail to meet their expectations. This current climate is only growing. Poor experiences get amplified very quickly through social media. Customers go online to leave reviews and comments, sharing experiences with a particular company. On the other hand, prospects use these reviews to assess the value of a product. Whether the review is good or bad, an organization is now at the mercy of platforms that they cannot control. So as a business, you need to be aware that prospects are turning to reviews before entering a buying cycle.
Strong customer service can alleviate these concerns. When you offer the best customer experience, your customers have a profound voice in promoting your company. Customer support as a service makes your customers a top priority. It also ensures that they’ll have a positive customer experience. This sets the pace to enhance your reputation and branding.
As a result, customer support as a service has become an essential part of every business.
What Is Customer Support as a Service?
Customer support as a service is the direct interaction between a customer and a company’s representative. People also know it as support as a service. The company representative answers questions and assists in using the company’s product or service. Support solutions may take the form of technical support, customer support, or both.
While customer support as a service is a relatively new term, the concept has been around for a while. Customer support as a service refers to designing unique and customized support solutions for clients. This helps companies gain a competitive edge by providing top-level customer experience. The quality of customer support is an essential factor in buyer satisfaction. A good experience will lead to referrals and a continued business relationship.
Empathetic responses are a key characteristic of good customer service. Replies should be timely and helpful. This means leaving customers with positive feelings about the brand as a whole. Great customer service requires active listening and responses that solve pain points. A business will build a positive reputation two ways. First, by listening to customers’ thoughts and concerns. Second, by responding in a meaningful, impactful way.
The Benefits of Support as a Service
Company leaders should find the best ways to improve business processes. The shortage of time and money makes it challenging to determine which areas of the business to focus on.
Some recent studies demonstrate how the customer experience is having a greater impact on revenue than in the past:
- A 2018 study by the Temkin Group showed that companies with revenue over $1 billion annually expected to earn an additional $700 million simply by investing heavier in customer experience over 3 years.
- A 2018 PwC report states that 54% of U.S. customers say that customer experience at most companies needs improvement.
- The same PwC report also shows that 16% of consumers will pay more to have a great customer experience.
- A 2017 Segment survey showed that 71% of consumers became frustrated over impersonal customer experience.
- The same Segment’s study also showed that 49% of consumers impulse buys after receiving personalized customer service.
With those stats in mind, it will help put into context the following six benefits of support as a service. These concepts will provide you a competitive advantage you may not have considered:
1) Satisfied Customers
Satisfied customers boast about your company publicly. Marketing by word of mouth is not a new concept. As social media platforms continue to evolve, referral marketing continues to become more important. For this reason, there is a great likelihood that your next customer finds you through reviews or word of mouth. Make sure potential customers can find great reviews about your products, services, or the online customer experience. It’s to your benefit to promote consumer trust at every level. The goal is to ensure your customers have a great customer experience. Every touchpoint is important. From the first interaction all the way to the last.
2) Proactive Customer Engagement
Proactive customer engagement adds value. Customers tend to return repeatedly to businesses they know and trust. Engagement refers to encouraging more interactions and building relationships that are mutually beneficial. Make the effort to ensure that customers are happy after a sale. This provides the opportunity to extend and build the relationship. Your marketing plan can have a huge impact on sales. Engage with customers in a positive way to get feedback. With this feedback, you can improve your products and services. This also opens up the potential for case studies or customer success stories.
3) Increased Customer Conversions
An increase in customer conversions occurs naturally as a byproduct of prioritizing customer relationships. Acquiring new customers can be expensive. It takes less time, money, and effort to make a sale from an existing, happy customer. When your sales cycle focuses on the customer experience as a whole, conversion rates will increase organically. By using the same approach toward prospects, you can demonstrate the value that your company has. Use campaigns and encourage continued brand engagement with offerings or promotions. These types of relationships are the key to acquiring and maintaining long-term customers.
4) Customer-Centric Insights
A customer-centric approach by companies will provide important insight into what customers want. It takes the guesswork out of knowing what products and services have appeal for the marketplace. This is possible with an open feedback cycle or NPS surveys. Having a glimpse into your customers’ preferences has massive potential for saving on marketing costs and product investments. Continued engagement with customers will yield important data. With this, you can make sense of the current consumer engagement dynamics within the marketplace. This will ultimately reduce costs, decrease churn, and increase customer satisfaction overall.
5) Brand Reputation
Building trust protects your reputation. When you’ve earned your customers’ trust, they’re more likely to bring problems or feedback to your attention. If this happens, aim for a quick resolution or strong communication. This will help you avoid negative comments and reviews online or on social media. Building trust provides an easy way to manage your brand reputation. It also helps avoid public embarrassment and lost sales. Bad reviews may cause you to lose the support of your investors and have a hard time acquiring top talent. When a customer brings a concern to your customer service agents, it’s vital to respond quickly and honestly. The quality of response will inspire even more trust over the long term.
6) Brand Loyalty
Having a heavy focus on customer experience increases customer loyalty and improves retention. Price is an important factor in today’s marketplace, but customers also want high-quality products. Most important, is good value for their money. Most customers will pay a bit more when they know that a company stands behind its products and services. They can also be sure that the company will provide excellent customer service in the future.
Realizing the benefits of customer support as a service should be a top priority for your business.
Call Center Software & Support as a Service
Enter call center software. The functions available to leverage in call center software enables support as a service. This makes your business much more versatile. The right software allows for your team to do quite a few things. Examples include: feedback from customers, consolidating data and analytics, sending invoices and collecting payments and resolving tickets. The right cloud-based phone system will make this all possible.
The following is a closer look at how some customer service software functions work with call center software. These will enhance your business with stronger support as a service.
You get the best feedback immediately after someone has had an interaction with your company. Survey apps automatically send surveys after having contact with your company. This provides you with nearly immediate feedback to assess your call agents’ performance and customer satisfaction.
Contact syncing syncs all of the contacts for your cloud-based phone system. The right phone system can sync them with other business tools. Some examples are marketing automation, CRM, email marketing, invoicing, and e-commerce.
Data and reporting
The right dashboard aggregates insights on KPIs in real-time, providing one source for all of your data.
Billing and payments
This application allows for accepting credit card payments. These hide credit card information from the call agent to protect from identification and confidentiality problems. Additionally, with billing and payment apps help you collect payments immediately rather than waiting for a check in the mail.
Helpdesk’s bring your contacts in from your cloud-based phone system. The software logs new calls, takes notes on calls, brings emails and support tickets into one place. Helpdesk’s can also bring up call history. This gives agents the proper context for calls and log calls as new or existing tickets.
QA apps provide a way for you to give your call agents feedback on their performance based on data rather than subjectivity. Records calls and allows you to set your own parameters for rating call agents. Additionally, feedback will help your agents improve. It also measures internal quality and tracks trends.
Aircall’s cloud-based phone system works with your CRM system. Additionally, other integrations and an open API, allows access to more business functions. These integrations serve a specific business purpose by consolidating your teams tech stack and improving productivity.
Improving Customer Support Performance
The right people, processes and tools will help you reach your goal of improving customer support as a service. Call centers are becoming increasingly beneficial for this reason. They enhance the customer experience through timely responses and enable seamless customer service. By making use of distributed teams, you can provide exceptional customer service around the clock. Therefore, you can draw from the best talent, regardless of their geographical location.
By utilizing the right features, such as call whispering or a call center analytics dashboard, you can better assess your teams’ performance. These are the steps to take toward improving customer support. Luckily, these valuable features are part of Aircall’s central features.
Aircall works in conjunction with other software integrations and has an open API to enable deeper call metrics and improve customer service and support. These and other integrations provide comprehensive support as a service functionality.
Provides a channel for call agents to streamline their workflows and productivity. With Aircall, a pop-up function delivers key contact information before the call goes through.
Aircall imports easily from the Zendesk console. With Aircall you can make and receive calls, while the Zendesk integration displays customer name and details. Having this info available in the phone, increases productivity and saves time.
Provides the means to use Aircall to transition calls from chat to call and back.
An AI and transcription app that analyzes customer calls through Aircall and automatically generates actionable insights.
Working with Aircall, this app transcribes and indexes conversations by keyword and records conversations for deeper review.
A quality assurance app that works with Aircall to provide timely feedback to the agent that spoke with the customer.
Call agents can use this app to accept remote credit card payments using Aircall. The app makes it possible for customers to privately provide personal payment information. This means call agents won’t be able to view it, greatly increasing privacy.
These integrations can greatly increase the performance and versatility of your team.
Customer support as a service isn’t as complicated as you might think. In order to deliver top-notch customer experience, you need a cloud-based phone system that has the right integrations. Aircall’s modern phone solution provides all the right support to your call center. Our product and integrations help to enhance your efforts in providing the best customer support as a service offering possible.