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July 26, 2017 | By

6 Ways to Increase Sales With Your Customer Support

Sometimes in business, the best offense is an incredible defense. That’s because modern customers don’t really differentiate between ‘sales’ and ‘support’ situations, and neither should you: they just want help. If your agents greet them with unbeatable service, it can lead to more sales just as easily as your sales efforts can.

Here are 6 ways you can use customer support to amp up sales:

1. Offer instant responses

From the moment a customer experiences a problem, the dissatisfaction clock begins ticking. How long do you have before ‘upset’ turns to ‘anger’? Not long. According to McKinsey, 75% of customers now expect a response from brands within 5 minutes. Customers will be reasonably happy if you can respond within that window, but what if you go the extra mile and offer instantaneous responses via live chat or social media support?

Customers who receive instant support become instant fans—86% of customers will pay more for an improved experience like this, according to American Express. In a world where very few companies respond quickly enough, it can turn a customer into an ambassador, boosting sales and leaving the competition in the dust.

2. Provide support that’s word-of-mouth worthy

If your agents deliver support that’s uncommonly generous, word will spread. Just think about REI, the outdoor equipment retailer, who’s famous ‘no questions asked’ return policy has led campers to joke that they could burn their tent down, return the ashes in a bag, and receive a full refund. People talk about REI because they’re impressed, and REI earns free marketing that piggybacks on these incredibly valuable peer-to-peer recommendations.

Does REI occasionally lose out on returning things so guilelessly? Without a doubt. But research by Vision Critical shows that delighted customers are 5 times more likely to buy again, 4 times more likely to refer, and can help grow your revenue by 5-10% over the long run.

3. Give responses that inspire social praise

Some 95% of consumers find a way to tell others about their bad retail experiences, on social media, in reviews, or in person.1 It should worry you then that a whopping 85% of customers also begin their buying journey by seeking out these reviews. Whatever is said about you publicly will influence them. But what if instead of trying to limit the bad reviews, you drowned them out with positive ones?

Great customer service teams don’t shy away from social media and instead, drive traffic there to inspire positive comments from happy customers. When your social pages and comments sections are replete with praise, they’ll become a cornerstone of your marketing and you’ll capture more sales.

4. Empower agents to resolve problems

Customers who have truly awful experiences generally vote with their feet: 82% quietly stop doing business with that company. The reasons for these bad experiences are varied, but they usually come down to constraints: most support agents are given restrictive scripts and shackled with complex approval systems that make them sound like robots. Instead, try empowering them actually solve the problem — no matter what.

Agents who are given unfettered control to process returns and exchanges and to go out of their way to make a customer’s day can improve sales: 75% of customers have returned to spend even more after a positive experience.2

5. Look like a hero compared to the competition

According to Gartner, customer service is the future battleground of business: 89 percent of companies expect to compete based on their quality of service. That’s because customers are busy, they have plenty of alternatives, and they’re going to be loyal to the businesses that make them happy.

How are you going to stand out? Offer customer service that makes it clear you’re everything your competition is not. If your competition’s support has a long wait time, reduce yours to near zero. If your competition transfers customers frequently, offer first-call-resolution. Over time, customers will learn to trust only you with their business.

6. Build a real relationship

What are most customers looking for when they call in for support? Resolutions, yes, but even more than that, they desire empathy. Customers want to be heard out by another human being and most agents get stuck in a transactional mindset that keeps them from simply listening. Set your team apart and reap more sales by empowering agents with training, scripts, and guidance, and then freeing them to be themselves and show some personality. If your customers feel connected to your agents, they’re far more likely to buy again in the future.

Customer support is perhaps the most underrated sales tool, but truly successful companies know that it’s key to long-term profitability. If you can improve your response times, offer remarkable support, and empower your agents to resolved issues quickly and with empathy, you’ll be well on your way to higher sales and more revenue.

Want to arm your team with the right tools? Check out a demo of Bold360 today.

1Customer Service and Business Results: A Survey of Customer Service from Mid-Size Companies, Dimensional Research, April 2013
213 Stunning Stats on Customer Experience, Vision Critical, June 2016

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