Unfortunately, many startup founders generally believe that a great customer service can’t be delivered until their company has reached sufficient scale. While it’s true that customer service can’t be streamlined and also automated to the same extent as some of the other business operations, even the leanest of the startup teams can also create a wonderful experience if they thus have the right mindset.
The purpose of this article is to make the reader aware as to how budget-conscious startups can put the customers on a pedestal.
Here are three ways by which one’s company can provide world-class service on a startup budget:
- Put your customers on a pedestal. It may sound obvious, but if one wants to deliver excellent service, he should make customer satisfaction the top priority in the organization.
The person should pick a metric or a group of metrics that best represent customer satisfaction (e.g. net promoter score, churn rate, the percentage of customers who make repeat purchases, etc.) and then display it somewhere everyone can see. The startup should let their team know that these are the most important metrics in the company and also that it is everyone’s responsibility — not just the customer service representatives and the account managers — in order to ensure that one meets and exceeds his goals.
- Listen to your customers, wherever they are.Customer feedback can come through a variety of channels – such as email, social media, live chat, telephone and even snail mail, so it behooves one to build a system that can capture, synthesize and then analyze this feedback while the company is still small. Properly organized, this data can also provide invaluable insights that can improve the product, marketing, service and also the fundamental business model. While it’s probably not advisable to open all of the business’s decisions to a public vote, companies that demonstrate that they listen to what their customers say and then thus take their feedback seriously thus tend to earn more respect and brand loyalty than the businesses that operate inside a feedback-free bubble.
- Use technology to connect with your customers faster than the competition. What startups, lack in size and resources, they can compensate with speed and agility. Through the use of live chat and social media, one can address the customer questions and the issues as they arise while putting up a human face personifying the brand.
For the best results, startups are also required train their staff to take a helpful, patient and conversational tone (speaking with rude and uncaring customer service representative is categorically worse than not speaking to anyone at all). On social media, one is required to use his best judgment in order to determine as to which posts one will and also won’t engage with. Direct questions and constructive feedback always merit a response, even if it’s just to say “We’re sorry, we’ll do better.” Personal attacks and blatant provocations are, however, are best left unanswered. As the old Internet adage goes, “Don’t feed the trolls.”
In addition to answering customer questions and addressing their complaints, both live chat and social media are invaluable in that they provide one with an additional opportunity to tell the startup’s story in a conversational and also in a personable way. Given as to how many large companies either bungle live chat and social media services or choose in order to avoid them altogether, doing these things well can thus help endear the start up’s brand to his customers and build a loyal fan base at an early stage in the company’s development.
This article has been contributed by Simmi Setia, content writer, LegalRaasta– an online platform for legal services such as GST software, GST return filing, TDS return filing etc