This column is by Francis Cyriac, marketer & customer engagement expert at Ameyo Emerge
Off late the discussions around startup profitability are abuzz. Investors are looking beyond just innovative ideas; they have become more interested in startups which are churning growing revenues. Entrepreneurs understand this and are hence focussing on delivering a great user experience through the products they are building.
Catering to the Connected Consumer
Even for a technology company, customer experience goes beyond just having a great app or a website. This is especially true for product + service based models which are simplifying daily operations with digital solutions. Hence, in this hyperconnected world, catering to customers at their preferred mode of communication is by no means an easy feat.
The figure above shows 21 possible touch points where a customer comes in touch with a company. At Emerge, we have experienced that for a business, the most common modes for customer queries are Voice, Social Media, Mobile and Email. Now deploying human resources for each of these channels is one way to go about it, but is it really feasible when you are dealing with hundreds or even thousands of queries on a daily basis?
Need for Customer Support Automation
Once a customer digitally places an order for a product or a service, they expect its timely fulfillment and regular updates of its progress. For example, once you buy a product on an eCommerce site you expect a mail confirming order placement, a text confirming payment receipt, a call and a mail if there is any delay in delivery and so on. Every consumer expects this same proactive service, but how do you bring this in your own business?
The beauty of having a technology business is having the ability to measure user behaviour at each node of where a customer interacts with your product. This gives you more insights into what to tweak to make your processes & service better.
Automation in product and automation in customer support are different things. An app like Swiggy or Zomato might let a user place an order and even track it, but the management of unprecedented calls & chat messages require a system to connect them with the right support personnel. Customers often find direct contact with customer support team faster & more convenient than raising a ticket on an app or a website. And like mentioned above, this query communication can happen anywhere – from a phone call to your company’s Twitter handle.
Integrating an automated system to handle your startup’s various communication channels & teams, in sync with the existing processes, can do wonders for the user experience you deliver.
To highlight the importance of such a simple sounding solution let me share that one of our clients, an India-based hyperlocal startup, received a whopping 280,000 queries in a month i.e. roughly 11,000 queries per working day. Now how do you sustainably handle such a number without a systematic solution?
Automation for Scale
No one likes to be kept waiting, and certainly not a paying customer. Be it a support call, email or even a Facebook message, customers expect fast and proactive communication.
Being a startup it’s important for you to both acquire customers and keep a check on the cost involved in retaining them. A cloud-based integrated solution would help you in better utilisation of your own support team, and reduce the turnaround time for customer support.
The benefits of such a system go beyond just handling queries. From user verification to order confirmation to tracking information, a system of automated calls, texts & emails will improve process efficiency and accuracy.
If a single system is processing all your customer communication, imagine the amount of intelligent data insights you can gather about your customer behaviour. Does your business drive more inbound calls? How often does a particular customer raises a ticket and so on. As a startup, each of these data points is important for you to know your customer better. Metrics around call distribution, agent performance, channel performance etc. would also help you in optimising your team better.
And once you have an automated system for handling customers in place, you can aim at replicating the processes and scaling up.
“Customer is King”
In case you do have/plan to create a profit making company, you already know the above statement is true. If your customers are happy with the way they are treated, it’s likely that they would stay loyal and even refer your business to their peers.
If you wish to know more about giving an amazing experience to your customers and growing your business, check out The Millennial Blog
For more information on enhancing your customer experience with Voice, Mobile, Chat, Social, Email, and SMS, click here.
Disclaimer: This content is powered by Ameyo Emerge
Image CreditL Fusemachines