Customer service plays an important role in keeping customers around and building customer loyalty. A mere 5% increase in customer retention can raise business profits by 25% to 95%, so most companies cannot afford to ignore this topic.
Klaus’s co-founder Kair Käsper discussed the possibilities of building customer loyalty through support interactions on the Help Scout blog. With years of experience in the marketing space, he’s got some good advice on how to hold onto existing customers and drive retention.
1. Support-Driven Growth
More and more companies are beginning to realize that support is not just a means for answering customers’ questions. It’s a powerful tool that can drive retention – if done correctly.
Support-driven growth proposes that customer service teams should adopt the “Yes, and…” principle in their conversations. The core idea behind this method is that agents should always provide additional information to customers in their interactions with the aim of driving product adoption and engagement.
Here are three universal use cases for this technique:
- Drawing attention to related features: If you’re discussing a specific product area with your customer, ask if they have already tried out other similar functionalities. That’s a great way to increase product engagement.
- Introducing new features: Personal interactions with support agents are one of the most efficient means of making sure your customers know about your latest releases. You don’t even have to wait for them to ask about what your company has been up to; simply mention that you’ve built this awesome feature that you think they might find useful.
- Offering premium features: Finding the customers who could benefit from your paid features and upselling these functionalities to them is the most explicit way your customer service team can drive further product adoption, and revenue. Don’t waste those opportunities.
These are some of the easiest ways all customer service agents can build customer loyalty almost every time a user reaches out to them. It’s important to understand that while sales tactics can come off as slimy and pushy, support driven growth comes from wanting to be genuinely helpful and providing value, instead of just trying to close the upsell.
2. Proactive customer conversation starters
However, you don’t always have to wait for the customers to come to you. If you collaborate with your marketing team, you’ll find neat opportunities for initiating conversations yourself.
Automated emails are one of the simplest means of contacting your customers. Do it every time your users navigate into a product area that is likely to raise questions and erase their problems before they’ve even encountered them.
Here are the key activities that support teams can do to build proactive communication channels:
- Outline the product areas where your users are most likely to contact support based on conversation data pulled from your help desk.
- Provide content for the emails sent to the customers that answers the questions they are about to have.
- Reply to the responses you’ve received to the automated emails (so make sure they end up in your support inbox).
Automated support emails are a great way for marketing and customer service teams to work together and build customer loyalty. You’ll wow your customers with having their questions answered before they even had them.
3. Conversation reviews help you implement customer retention techniques
Driving retention through customer service interaction is a systematic effort that doesn’t come overnight. Train your agents for this particular purpose and provide constant feedback to achieve the best results.
Conversation reviews — i.e., internal support interaction evaluations — will help you make the most out of Support-Driven Growth. Set up dedicated rating categories to analyze how well your agents make use of the retention techniques:
- Introducing related/new/premium features;
- Providing proactive help.
If you provide constant feedback on these aspects, your agents will learn to implement those techniques in their conversations. It’ll soon become a natural part of your support interactions.
Pro tip: Peer reviews are often the most efficient form of conversation reviews if you aim to build customer loyalty. Fellow agents can provide excellent advice based on their first-hand experience on what works best with your user base.
If you’d like to learn more about peer reviews, read how Automattic fosters a culture of feedback with the Klaus and Zendesk integration and how Wistia set up peer reviews on Klaus.
Customer service is no longer seen as only a way to solve customers’ problems. It’s an important business instrument that increases customer retention and helps to create customer loyalty.
Make retention one of your customer service goals and use conversation reviews to track your progress. Give Klaus a go and see how easy it is to set up the procedure.