Customer retention has never been more critical to business success than it is today. With increasing business costs and reduced headcount, companies are feeling the squeeze as they also grapple with rising consumer expectations.
That’s why companies should look to support – and retain – the customers they have. Shifting focus to customer retention can actually be twice as powerful as customer acquisition. While a 1% increase in acquisition might boost your bottom line by about 3%, a 1% decrease in churn can boost it by 7%! But what role does customer support play in this effort to retain customers? It’s more significant than you might think…
Why great customer support is the key to customer retention
Support plays a critical role in customer retention, with 32% of consumers citing bad customer service as the main reason they discontinued business with a brand. 24/7, accessible, and instant in-product support is now the standard customers expect – and if your current customer service doesn’t embody that, you risk losing your customers to a competitor that does.
“93% of customers are more likely to remain loyal to companies with excellent support”
Your support experience is an opportunity to delight your customers – by better educating them and resolving their issues, you can improve the relationship they have with your brand. In fact, 93% of customers are more likely to remain loyal to companies with excellent support. So, with a great support strategy you can reduce churn, improve customer lifetime value, and overall boost your bottom line.
But what makes a support experience worthy of loyalty? Here are four areas where you can supercharge your strategy.
How to drive retention from customer support
Let customer data drive your efforts
80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences. So, with the expiry of third-party cookies on the horizon, businesses should make collecting, analyzing and acting on first-party data a priority.
Chatbots can help your support team automatically gather rich information about each customer – like which plan they’re on, what company they work for, and whether they’ve been in touch before with a similar issue.
This data fuels personalized interactions at every touchpoint – whether that’s through personalized answers from chatbots, by preemptively answering questions with proactive messages, or via live chat with a support rep. Plus, rich data can help you identify problems with your customer experience as a whole, so you can preemptively address them and maintain an experience worth returning for.
Lean on automation and self-serve support for speedy resolutions
Modern customers now expect instant interactions – especially when it comes to support. If they have a query, they’ll settle for nothing less than a fast, accurate, personal response.
Use modern support tools (such as chatbots, automation, and proactive messaging) to preemptively and contextually resolve simple queries and answer FAQs. This empowers you to provide 24/7 support, fast responses, and give customers the choice to self-serve, particularly for simple queries.
81% of customers will attempt to resolve their own issues before reaching out to a support agent – so if you can facilitate self-serve support and instant, high quality responses, your overall customer experience stands to benefit. Now who would want to leave a business that provides service like that? 😉
Meet customers in the right place and the right time
72% of consumers say relevant content delivered at the right time and place boosts their trust. By delivering personalized help in the moment customers need it (while they’re using your product, website, or app) you can strengthen your customer relationships – increasing the likelihood they will stick with you for the long run.
Customers still expect to be able to contact you by phone and email of course, but that’s where adding an in-context approach to support comes in. By adding a messenger backed by rich customer data to your website or product, your team can deliver accurate one-to-one help (whether that’s via an automated bot or a support rep) while the customer’s query is top of mind. This turns every conversation into a chance to build trust, connection, and deep loyalty.
Focus on improving team efficiency
Great customer support starts with your support team members. If they are happy in their work, are using the right tools, and have access to the right data, it will be reflected in your customers’ experience.
“Your support tech stack should seamlessly connect your customer communications tools”
43% of support teams are now prioritizing increasing workflow efficiency – and so should you. For optimum efficiency, your support tech stack should seamlessly connect your customer communications tools (such as a messenger, powerful inbox, email, and phone) and allow the right teams to easily access the right data.
With all of the data and conversation history they need at their fingertips, your team:
- Has more time to manage VIP and unique queries to a high standard.
- Is less likely to burn out – meaning the quality of your support is less likely to be negatively impacted by staffing constraints.
- Can identify recurring problem areas and share this data and insights with other teams so you can collectively improve the product roadmap and customer experience.
In a nutshell, by improving efficiency, your team can better look after your customers – leading to improved loyalty.
Customer support and customer loyalty are two sides of the same coin
By reinforcing your customer support strategy with data, automation, contextual interactions, and the right tech stack, a strong customer experience is a given. Reduce friction between you and the customer and you can reduce frustration and increase satisfaction with your entire business. This means customers are far less likely to churn – resulting in a continuous rich source of revenue for your business, all without burning out your team or investing in extra headcount.
Looking for powerful support strategies that will keep customers coming back and continuously your business? Download our latest guide, Supercharge Your Support: How In-context Support Can Boost Your Bottom Line for all the essential insights you need.