No matter what kind of business you are in, your first priority is getting and keeping customers. That includes being there to answer any questions or handle any problems they may be having no matter how they choose to let you know about them. Think about the last time you had a problem and reached out to support to handle it. Do you remember how frustrating it was trying to solve your problem or get simple answers to simple questions? And do you remember how much relief and gratitude you had for the person who helped you solve that problem? If you do then you can appreciate why having a solid support system for your business is important.
But building a customer support system can be tricky if you are a one person operation. Its even harder because customers today expect you to be everywhere they are – on social, on the phone, and ready to chat. Different clients communicate in different ways, and it is your job to support them on their terms if you want to earn their business.Thankfully, we live in an age where it is easy and affordable to seem like you have a full support staff even if you are a Solopreneur. Here is how to do it right.
Offering Support By Chat
If a potential client visits your site, they may not be able to immediately find what they need to make a purchasing decision. Offering live chat gives them the opportunity to ask questions, clear up confusion, and lets you point them in the right direction. Since we have started using the chat box that you see on the bottom right hand side of the screen, we have closed more sales and connected with more visitors than we did using scheduling and over the phone consultations.
Here is how live chat works:
- Once you sign up with PureChat (its free), you will be given a code to place on your website. If you are already a Legacy client, we do this for you for free.
- PureChat will then give you a dashboard where you can monitor your website for incoming chats. The company also has a mobile app that you can download to monitor chats from your cell.
- When a new message comes in, you get an alert on your device, and you can respond to the chat just like you would respond to a text message.
When you are not able to monitor your chats, PureChat sends visitors straight to an email form where they can send a message to your email account. You can then reply to the email when you get a chance.
Click here to sign up for PureChat. If you need help signing up, leave a comment below.
Offering Support By Phone
Clients who are not tech savvy will pick up the phone if they have questions or need help. Therefore, it is important to have a system in place to accept those calls. You don’t want to give your personal number out to the world unless you want phone calls at 2 AM. And you will get calls at 2 AM! We have used Grasshopper for the past two years and it is the only phone service that we have never had an issue with.
Grasshopper gives you a free 1-800 number that clients can call from anywhere in the United States and overseas. When a client calls your number, Grasshopper will send the call straight to your cellphone or any other phone you choose. That means you can answer client calls from anywhere without having to be in the office. As you hire more people, you can also have calls forwarded to them as well. And if you hire on employees in different departments (support, billing, sales, etc), Grasshopper lets you create extensions for each department.
On top of all these advantages, having your own 1-800 number will make your business seem more legitimate than using a personal number, so click here to sign up for Grasshopper and offer phone support to your clients .
Offering Support By Videoconferencing
If you do work online, sometimes your clients will need you to show them how to accomplish certain tasks. It is possible to do a live “screen share” with them using Skype. Skype lets you show your client your computer screen so that you can walk them through an issue. Here at Legacy, we use Skype to show our clients how to log into their websites , make changes, and we show them all the parts that are ‘under the hood’.
We also use QuickTime Screen Capture (which is free) to record our screen and conversation while we walk through the screen share. That way, we can give the client a copy of the video for their future reference. We just upload the video into Dropbox (free-ish) and share the link to the file with the client. By giving our clients this option, we are saving them frustration and saving ourselves from answering hundreds of emails, phone calls, or chats. Its win-win.
Offering Social Media Support
While older clients tend to prefer support over the phone, younger clients use social media accounts to get their questions answered and connect with your brand. If you think your company can’t use social media to support potential clients, just look at Wendys. Whoever is managing their social media accounts needs an award. Not only do they handle customer complaints, but they roast their competition and troll users that try to talk smack about their brand. And it is freaking hilarious.
Wendy’s does social media support in a way that makes you laugh…and makes you want Wendy’s. Thats how you win, people.
Companies like Wendy’s use Hootsuite to listen out for people talking about their brand or their competition. Hootsuite lets you monitor up to 99 different social media accounts – from Facebook to Instagram to LinkedIn. It also lets you schedule posts for the future, so you can send out tweets at 4am just like Donald Trump – even if you are asleep. And just like Purechat and Grasshopper, there is an app you can download so you never miss a notification.
Bringing It All Together
1.Get PureChat to provide chat support to your clients from your computer or your phone.
2. Get Grasshopper to provide phone support to your clients from your cell or office phone (or both).
3. Get Hootsuite to listen out for anyone mentioning your company name or reaching out to you for support.
Download the apps for the different services above and set notifications up. These tools will have your support game on lock. As you grow, it will be easy to patch other people into your system to help you handle requests.
Pro Tip: If you don’t want to monitor everything around the clock, create ‘support hours’ for yourself and make sure they are clearly displayed on your website or your Facebook Business page. That way clients know when to expect you and when to expect an email response later on.
Support can make or break a business. Not having a solid support system in place almost destroyed this company! If you are serious about taking your business to the next level, blowing your competition away, and turning your transactions into long term relationships, get your support system in place immediately!
As always, if you have any questions about any of the above, get in touch with us via Twitter, Facebook, telephone, chat, email, or by leaving a comment below!