One of the most difficult challenges a young startup has to deal with is limited budgets.
Whatever money is available more often than not goes to product development and marketing. Yet, as soon as there are customers using the product, your team has to spend a lot of time attending to customer needs- time and money that aren’t actually available.
On the other hand, your customers are the ones who will come back to you time and time again, so you need to treat them properly. This doesn’t just include providing them with a valuable product, but giving them the support they need to answer the questions that they have.
In short, customer support can sometimes bog down a young startup.
However, customer care doesn’t have to be expensive. Knowing what to look for will help you on your journey to becoming a bigger player in the game. Sometimes it’s just the way you look at things. Here are 5 ways that you can give great customer care without losing it all.
1. Think of your Customers as Individuals, and Not a Group
The key here is to provide customers with an engaging and personalized customer experience.
Never think of your customers as just “customers.” They are each individuals that have their own concerns and circumstances. While some issues may overlap with others’ concerns, that doesn’t mean that they should be treated as just another number.
Think about how you would want to be treated and give your customers something that surpasses even that. It doesn’t cost a thing, but it can cost you a lot if you forget this key point.
2. Educate Your Team
Make sure that your team is very knowledgeable on their assignments. Give them the confidence that they need to succeed and to answer questions in a quick and timely manner. If employees are digging around looking the answers or stopping their coworkers in order to figure something out, they are holding up process and wasting the customer’s time as well.
3. Admit Mistakes
It’s never fun to say that you were wrong, but it’s important to take responsibility for your actions. If you make a mistake, you need to let the customer know that they were treated improperly.
Businesses often try to cover up errors- They then end up losing more than they gained, because customers appreciate those that are loyal. If you are loyal to your customers, they will be loyal to you as well.
4. Look for Patterns
It’s one thing to resolve an issue that a customer has, but another to prevent it entirely.
Take a look at what customers are getting stuck on and see if there is a pattern or a trend. Maybe you need to clarify some instructions or change how things are handled. If you can see the problem before it happens, you have happier customers and your team can work on other tasks.
5. Empower Customers With Guidance Technology
Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of systems that guide customers through your software or app.
Online guidance can make onboarding a much smoother and less costly process, and it encourages “self-service”, thereby reducing incoming support requests. I should say that online guidance is not the only option. When you use the internet, you are able to pull from a wide range of resources and obtain what you are looking for very quickly.
You can also create forums or FAQs to answer questions or create instructional videos. The unique value of guidance technology is that it not only provides step-by-step instructions in the moment of need, it takes away the need for opening a new screen, or sifting through the tediousness of alternate options.
These 5 tips are just a start. The most important thing is that a young startup can grow and be successful even on a very small budget, without sacrificing the level of quality of engagement and support that its customers require.