How to Turn Your Customer Support Center into a Profit Center
When businesses want to increase their revenue, getting more customers is an obvious place to start. But for many companies, improving customer support is the key to driving future revenue.
It’s hard to overestimate the importance of providing a positive customer experience. Customers who had the best past experiences spend 140 percent more compared to those who had the poorest past experience. At the same time, 86 percent of customers will cease patronizing a business because of a bad customer experience.
The data makes it clear that to increase profits, businesses must pay close attention to their customer support.
It’s easy to see why this is the case. For many companies, the customer support team has far more contact with any given customer than the sales team. And this contact happens at crucial moments, when a customer’s satisfaction is at stake.
But there’s more to support than simply keeping customer happy. When customers reach out to support with a problem, the support team has a unique opportunity to listen to their needs, identify solutions and provide them. Someone who is potentially ready to leave may actually need to buy more of what you offer.
So how do you turn a customer with a problem into a sale and maximize revenue growth? Start by reframing what support means.
Reframe the Definition of “Support”
Support agents are inherently individuals who like to help other people, and they often struggle with the concept of sales. While there are a lot of things that go into a profitable support center, two actions with the most impact are hiring the right people and training them the right way. In centers where sales activities are not an initial component of support, it is often difficult to change that mentality. The key to establishing a profit center is to hire right from the start with the understanding that sales is a component of the position. And the hiring process needs to be supported through training that reframes ‘sales’ as the ultimate form of helping a customer.
Agents who are hired with sales in mind and then educated on the benefits of the full product suite can then share that information with customers, knowing they are helping customers beyond just solving the reason for their initial contact. If you can show an agent how your full product suite can benefit customers, then selling those products is just another form of support, except this time it’s supporting your customers’ success in the marketplace.
Having a customer-centric business is one of the best ways to not only maintain current revenue but also increase it. When used effectively, customer support centers can both deliver strategic value and improve the bottom line. That’s why it’s important for businesses to think carefully about how customer support centers function and how they can be improved. Investing time and resources in this key area can mean increased profits for years to come.
Tackle Existing Problems
The first step is to evaluate your current practices and identify areas for improvement. For example, if you know that a new product is causing confusion among customers, or are aware of a hiccup in the billing process, address these issues proactively. This can help you save time and money while improving your customers’ experiences. Sending a newsletter that focuses on troubleshooting tips can be a big help to customers, along with creating a video or blog post that walks customers through correcting the issue. If you can share the same information with your customer support team, this will reduce both wait and call times.