Customer support is a key component for most businesses, especially those in the technology sector. Whether your product is an open-source script, a web application, or a downloadable product, customers will expect you to provide some form of technical support.
Often, customer support
involves more than just answering the phone and troubleshooting user problems. Depending on the product, a full line of support services can include everything from helping customers with planning, installation, and training to troubleshooting, maintenance, upgrades, and even disposal of the product.
Advantages of Strong Customer Support
Providing high-quality support is good for the customer and your business. When done well, customer support helps to:
Increase Customer Loyalty and Retention. Good support makes customers feel like you’re on their side, which improves their sense of loyalty to your product and your business.
Encourage Customers to Buy More From You. When customers know they can count on you for the support they need, they are more likely to purchase other products or services you offer.
Overcome Purchasing Barriers. When buying a new technology product, customers often fear that it won’t work as advertised. Providing excellent support can allay that fear and make it easier for new customers to buy from you.
Build Positive Word-of-Mouth. In today’s social media world, customer feedback about your product – both positive and negative – travels fast. Customers can help build your company’s reputation by sharing their positive experiences with your support team.
The Face of Your Business
Perhaps the most important reason for offering strong customer support is this: after the purchase, customer support is often the only contact customers have with your business. As a result, they often form opinions and make decisions about your product and your business based on the quality of support they receive: Provide quality support from a knowledgeable, well-trained team and your customers are far more likely to see you as a partner in their success. Offer indifferent or bad support and it won’t be long before they seek out a different vendor who provides the level of service they need.
Depending on the technical sophistication of your customers, good support can include a variety of options ranging from phone and email to social media and live online chat; however, when communicating your support hours and services to customers, be careful not to overpromise and under-deliver. For example, don’t advertise 24/7 support or same-day problem resolution if you don’t have the personnel and resources to back it up. Communicate the level of service you can provide, and then work hard to deliver it on a consistent basis.
Even if your business idea is still in the planning stages, it’s not too early to start thinking about how you will provide customer support. Ideator can help by putting you in contact with entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses by making customer support an integral part of their business models – and all you need to do is sign up and begin the conversation.