How support can increase customer loyalty [5 tips]
Updated: Jan 12, 2022
It’s difficult to talk about support without mentioning customer loyalty. But what does customer loyalty mean?
Customer loyalty is the measure of a customer’s potential to purchase multiple products or services from a company over a period of time. When customers continue giving you their business, it’s likely because of an emotional bond to your brand and product. Over time, this bond builds after several positive interactions between the business and consumers. Not every interaction will be perfect, but loyal customers have more good feelings about your brand than bad.
Support plays a huge role in customer loyalty - teams can either build trust with efficient, helpful support or create tension, losing a potential advocate. Research backs this idea as well: according to Hubspot, 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies who offer excellent customer service.
To increase customer loyalty, support teams can focus on the following:
Provide customers with valuable content
A knowledge management system makes it easier for customers to access information about your business and its products. With a knowledge management system, customers can:
Solve issues themselves without having to interact with agents
Stay informed of new products and features
Access consistent solutions and information from one, reliable source of truth
But how do you know you’re creating valuable content? When evaluating your content hub (also referred to as a knowledge base), it’s often tricky to identify where to focus your efforts first. We compiled a few starting points below.
1. Begin with your customer data – Go back and look at your support analytics to identify where customers are struggling most. Which search terms keep coming up? Which articles have they flagged as unhelpful? All of these instances could inspire content that helps customers find what they need.
2. Know your products – To create helpful content, you must be able to explain the product or topic inside. Articles should always be informative and approachable to someone of any level.
3. Include visuals – Videos and images help break up blocks of text and explain concepts that may otherwise need a lengthy explanation.
4. Update your content regularly – Old, outdated information won’t help your customers solve their issues. Go through past articles and adjust them so they’re in line with the latest product or service updates.
Customers who can use a knowledge base to access valuable content can quickly solve issues on their own. The more helpful your content, the stronger the trust customers will have in your brand, which builds customer loyalty.
Deliver a great customer experience by preventing high call volume
Occasionally, unpredictable call center backups happen, but to give customers the best customer experience (CX) possible–and help them feel that they’re a priority–you need a plan in place. If you know how to prevent high call volume, you’ll be able to make sure more customers get the help they need and keep customer satisfaction intact.
A few ways to prevent high call volume:
Use self-service – This lets customers who have less complicated questions solve their issues themselves, saving your agents time.
Offer callback options – Show customers their time is valuable by offering the choice to stay on hold or receive a callback during surges. Callbacks prevent customers from having to wait on hold and give agents more time to thoroughly address their issue.
Predict crunch times – Customers don’t like waiting on hold. A real-time support dashboard shows support leaders exactly what agents are working on (and on which channels) so they can immediately shift their team around to meet demand. If call volume is going up, leaders can assign them where they’re needed on the spot to meet incoming requests and improve support performance.
Knowing how to prevent high call volume gives customers the best possible customer experience, showing them that you’re always looking out for their needs. The more positive experiences customers have, the more loyal they’ll remain.
Reduce friction to give customers the support they need
As we’ve touched on above, customer experience plays a huge role in customer retention and loyalty. A frictionless CX is important because it’s the 'key differentiator' that makes customers more loyal towards one brand over another. A few tips for providing a frictionless experience:
Track the common issues customers experience and get stakeholders involved to influence the roadmap to solve those challenges.
Hold yourself accountable for meeting certain customer success metrics that show whether customers are satisfied, if they’d recommend you to their family or friends, and the level of support you’re providing.
Revisit the customer journey map through the customer’s eyes and identify areas of success and improvement. Then, involve relevant stakeholders and assess what to focus on optimizing first.
Listen to customers’ feedback, whether through surveys, forms, in-person conversations, or social media comments. Take in their comments and put a plan together to mitigate their pain points.
A smooth customer journey makes for happier, more loyal customers. Make it as easy as possible for them to get the support they need at every touchpoint.
Train agents to master the human touch for a more personalized experience
Customers sometimes need more assistance than a quick response from a chatbox or a paragraph in an FAQ. Many customers feel more comfortable with a product when they can speak directly with an agent and get a personalized experience.
Use these 3 practical tips to master the human touch:
Check-in with customers at appropriate touchpoints (ex. onboarding, pre-renewals, etc.) to see how they’re doing and if there’s something you can help with.
When customers contact support, reply with empathy, use patience, listen to their issues, and own any mistakes on your end.
Use customer data and their history—know who they are, why they’re calling, previous issues, etc—so you can personalize the conversation and show the customer they’re more than a dollar sign to you.
Agents who understand the importance of the human touch and expressing certain must-have qualities will have a stronger chance of developing a relationship with customers built on trust.
Offer consistent experiences to build trust with customers
Consistency helps customers feel that they can depend on your brand to help them solve their issues. Consistency is key for building trust with customers.
Check off the following to create a consistent experience:
Revisit your customer journey and make sure customer touchpoints like onboarding, progress check-ins, or meetings all work together to serve customers’ needs.
Ensure social media content, web content, and all messaging through your channels remains consistent so customers receive a uniform experience.
Train your staff on support protocols that best reflect your business goals. No matter who customers speak to or interact with, they should be able to expect the same level of support.
Building out processes for the above makes support teams more efficient and shows customers that they’ll consistently receive quality support.
Support is the defining factor in customer loyalty
When customers contact support for help, agents can do the minimum or they can impress them with a great CX. And when support can deliver on that, consumers are more apt to remain loyal to you. These happy customers may even share their positive experiences with family or friends. Use the above tips to make customers feel valued and keep them coming back for more.
Read more on creating a foolproof customer support strategy here: