Zendesk reports that 82% of consumers stopped doing business with a company due to bad service*. And According to Forum Corporation’s research, customer churn due to poor service is the highest reason customers go elsewhere by a 40% margin**. Simply put, good service is fundamental to keeping customers happy. Service and tech support may be small parts of your business, but they have an enormous impact on your customer retention and your ability to grow. Here’s what you need to know about providing great after-sales support.
Why every company should focus resources on service
While focusing on providing top-notch after-sales service helps us make sure our customers happy and satisfied, providing great service is a no-brainer in a number of other ways.
We create revolutionary technology. The first of its kind. So, like with any new tech, there can be some wariness among early adopters — "Are we the beta-testers? Is this tech even reliable?". We understand that and want our customers to feel as confident in our products as we are. Service calls are a fact of life with technology, but if you have the processes and people in place to make your service experience painless, your customers will put their trust in you, and your product.
Level the playing field
Prioritising the need for a dedicated service team, especially in a smaller or growing company, helps you compete with larger, more mature companies. It gives you a point of difference and can help you build a good reputation in the industry.
It’s one thing to win customers with a great product. But there's a lot of great tech out there competing for attention. If you can make your service offering first-class, you can solidify your reputation for an excellent product with exceptional after sales support. At Tiliter we’ve developed a bespoke remote monitoring and management system that helps us keep your computer vision systems working at optimal performance without skipping a beat. It’s all part of the service and an extra bit of value that we offer our customers.
How to ramp up your service
People seek assistance in a variety of ways and it’s important to cater to that. Gone are the days of a single 1800 number to a call centre. Here are some ideas to lift your service and support game.
Offer multiple service channels
Consider allowing your customers to contact you via phone, email, and online chatbots. WhatsApp is also popular. Some service tools like Salesforce have a service option too — allowing customers to log tickets straight into our service management tool.
Also consider the types of service your technology will need. Can you troubleshoot problems over the phone alone? Or will you need to be onsite to service your products too? Make sure you have dedicated staff for both scenarios so you can respond to service calls quickly and seamlessly.
Once you’ve resolved an issue, your service journey isn’t quite over. Do a quality assurance (QA) review every time and you’ll be able to track mistakes and faults, stop preventable issues, fine-tune your processes, and use customer feedback to improve your service. Once that’s done, you can close off a call confident that you can continue to improve your customer support.
Reactive service is the easy way to support your customers. They contact you to advise that something has broken — you fix the problem. This gets the job done. But it relies on the customer to take action. And then service lead times come in to play, meaning there could be a few days before their system is back up and running.
A better way to keep your customers happy and your tech running well is to provide a proactive service and maintenance solution. There are a few ways you can do this.
Remote monitoring and management (RMM). With RMM tools you can have oversight of your systems' health and be notified of faults in real-time, before they lead to larger problems and preventable failures. By quickly addressing these issues they can be nipped in the bud and crises averted, without relying on customers to report the fault.
Do root cause analysis. This way, rather than fixing the same issue time and time again, you analyse what’s causing the problem and implement a permanent fix. Your customer will be grateful, and you’ll save money on service calls.
Automate wherever possible: Automation and scripts allow problems to be automatically resolved before the client has even learned that they had occurred.
Keep improving your product. If you’ve done your QA, you’ve got customer feedback and you continuously analyse your product performance, you can mitigate known issues in the next build or design cycle.
Software maintenance: Simple, proactive things your service team can do to mitigate software issues include clearing disk space, scheduling reboots, scheduling updates and initiating startup script self-checks. Software updates let you proactively push out enhancements and bug fixes to prevent recurring issues.
Hardware maintenance: Staying on top of routine pro-active hardware maintenance allows your systems to function at peak performance without catastrophic failures from old and poorly maintained hardware.
Don’t forget your remote customers: Sometimes it’s not possible to be onsite, such as when your customer is in a remote region, or you’re affected by travel restrictions, for example. In these cases, it’s wise to partner with local contractors to replace parts and provide service at the customer’s site. We work with Goodson in Australia (and have relationships with several overseas providers) because we trust their people to provide the same top-level service our customers expect from us. You can’t be everywhere, but you can partner with great businesses as the next best thing.
Offer a self-serve option: Consumers these days are used to self-service. Whether it’s tracking your phone bill, checking in for a flight or finding the answer to limitless questions, we all jump online. Following that idea, an online knowledge base that your customers can access when they need help with a common task is a great way to offer additional support. You can cut down on service calls and complement your person-to-person service offering.
Your business is counting on you
Every time your sales team wins a new customer, they’re counting on your service team to help keep them! Once customers have got their new tech in place, the relationship between them and the service team takes the spotlight.
And remember that a great service offering is more than fixing faults. If you align your business areas and strategy, your service team has the opportunity to cross and upsell your products. Maybe you offer a different pricing plan or have a new feature that would solve your customer’s problem permanently — you can give them a solution that increases your bottom line and helps you retain that customer.
At Tiliter we pride ourselves in offering exceptional after-sales support. Contact us to find out more!