Is Customer Service the Key to Customer Acquisition?
You’ve heard that the customer is always right. (You may not believe it, but you’ve heard it.)
You’ve probably also heard marketing experts stress that people don’t buy from brands; they buy from people.
With customer service spanning multiple media and platforms, bringing a personal touch to the handling of every query, complaint and support request has become a huge task for many businesses.
Why? Because if your customer isn’t happy, they’ll say so. Loudly. To thousands of social media followers. Who, if you’re really unlucky, will turn your failure into a meme of its own.
Fact: An unhappy customer will tell 9-15 people about their experience. 13% of unhappy customers will tell more than 20 people!
The horror, right? But there’s something worse than an unsatisfied customer. What about those people who were unsatisfied with the experience you provided while they considered your offering? They never become customers at all. That’s the real horror.
What can you do to improve customer acquisition? Offer outstanding service from the moment a visitor arrives on your site.
Never Ignore Live Chat
A live chat with a helpful, low-pressure service agent can be an effective way to convert visitors to customers. In fact, some ecommerce marketers have used live chat tools like Zopim to increase sales by up to 300%.
Of course, a live chat with a pain-in-the-brain sales rep who only wants to push you to the signup page is a big turnoff for most people. So let’s not do that.
The same principles of customer acquisition apply here as anywhere else:
1. Convey solutions, benefits and outcomes.
A live chat is the perfect medium for this because your chat agent can prioritize the points they mention to suit the visitor’s unique needs.
2. Gather and share information.
It’s up to your live chat agent to find out what your visitor wants and then explain to them how one or more of your offerings align with their desires. This is also a great time to collect contact information by offering an incentive like a free demo, webinar or report.
3. Be sticky.
A prospect who can’t remember your company name or what you offered them is unlikely to come back and buy, so create memorable elevator pitches and scripts for common live chat situations. For best results, use auto messages to connect with new visitors. Not everyone will respond to your message, but you’ll initiate some conversations you might not have had otherwise.
4. Increase acquisition efforts when business is booming.
Just when you’re too busy to worry about customer acquisition or live chats, that’s when new business is easiest to win. So don’t wait until you’re desperate to charm up some new customers! The smell of success is much more appealing.
The key thing to get right with live chat is choosing your representative. You’re relying on them to bring your prospects home and turn them into loyal customers, so you only want your best customer care champions on this job.
Motivate Your Front Line Superheroes
Do you know how many customers your business has won purely through the heroic actions of your customer support team? It’s probably more than you think.
Those customer care folks are the first line of contact for many inbound leads, which makes their role a vital one in customer acquisition. Studies show that 73% of customers cite friendly frontline employees as the reason they like a brand, and 86% would pay extra for a better experience.
When a prospect pops up with a question, the response they receive can send them straight into your sales funnel (or send them running to your competitors). Smart customers often purposely check out the level and quality of support available before they put their money on the line.
Always Take Action With Inbound Marketing
Smart companies are making good use of the Internet to drive lead flow and minimize their cost to acquire customers. Inbound marketing works because you have the information your market wants.
Great content, including technical support pages and user information pages as well as blog posts, increases the trust between your business and your leads. And once they trust you, there’s no reason not to buy from you.
It’s logical, then, to build the best customer support experience you can. Not only will it bring you more customers, but they’ll be more satisfied and offer your business a greater return on its customer care investment.
Not sure how your company can turn customer service into customer acquisition? Tweet us @Onboardly and let’s figure it out together!