A business can’t exist without a customer. Your company may offer an incredible platform, product or service, but your solution will remain absolutely worthless without someone buying into it. If your business has been lucky enough to attract interested buyers and users, your work still isn’t over: Keeping new and existing customers happy is critical to driving sales and engagement.
According to Harvard Business Review, the most important factor to maintain customer loyalty is the reduction of customer effort. Companies should proudly offer products and solutions that simply work, and when they don’t, customers don’t want to struggle to get back on track. A lack of proper customer support can cripple an organization’s ability to grow, solve problems and remain relevant.
That’s why offering first-class support is paramount in order to retain satisfied customers. Customers interacting with your product expect it to work — and when it doesn’t, they need solutions. This isn’t just a simple matter of a product breaking down, either: In our digital-first landscape, a simple broken link or incorrect password can bring work to a screeching halt. Our connected global economy offers endless opportunities to work remotely, across borders and time zones, but without a support team standing by to assist users at a moment’s notice, that connection can snap.
Dissatisfied Customers Tell Everyone About Poor Customer Support
Bad customer support doesn’t just frustrate users: It dissuades potential users and stifles potential sales by poisoning the well through word of mouth.
Sources: statista.com, trackur.com
No industry is immune to poor customer support. When United Airlines broke a musician’s guitar in 2012 and refused to fix it for nine months, the owner posted a YouTube video called “United Breaks Guitars” that racked up over 10 million negative impressions. Some believe the ensuing bad publicity was primarily responsible for driving down United’s stock price by 10 percent, ultimately costing the company $180 million.
Comcast, the internet service provider already married with a reputation of bad customer service, confirmed those beliefs when nearly an hour of poor back-and-forth over the phone was captured by a frustrated user and shared on Soundcloud. These viral customer support nightmares spread like wildfire, reinforcing negative views of a company that can take years to recover from.
Poor customer experiences don’t need to go viral, either. Across the internet, from Glassdoor to Yelp, customers often feel empowered to leave direct feedback after experiences both good and bad. Bad online reviews of a company’s customer service can take years to repair, affecting the ability to attract new customers, satisfy existing ones and even recruit new employees. Any company that doesn’t take customer service seriously can ultimately find themselves beneath the guillotine of public opinion.
Great Support Isn’t Necessarily In-House
Customer service often comes down to a choice between quality and cost. Hiring internal customer service teams can be expensive and time-consuming, dependent on shifting employee schedules, weeks of training and potential turnover. Quality on-site customer service also needs 24/7 availability, requiring access to a business’ physical location around the clock.
Taking advantage of dedicated, remote service teams like Ciklum’s variety of managed IT services puts your customer service in the hands of dedicated professionals. Fully staffed all day, every day by a complete team of customer support experts, Ciklum’s managed services can handle any customer request without getting in the way of your company’s work.
PX.com, an international platform for lead generation services, utilizes Ciklum’s managed services to assist their remote development teams. Before adopting support solutions, PX.com’s developers were responsible for providing their own customer support — a less-than-ideal arrangement that took developers away from their key responsibilities. The challenge of providing 24/7 service to remote teams across the world led to response times that took more than a day, leaving customers waiting a full day or two for a response.
After adopting Ciklum’s support services, PX.com’s customer response time decreased from an average of one day to less than 10 minutes. The customer support team, available 24/7 with the support of a dedicated project manager, offers around-the-clock service to assist the lead generation process in real-time — including weekends and holidays. Ciklum’s scalable, cost-efficient customer support service enabled PX.com to offer a greater customer experience that’s cheaper, faster and satisfying.
Watch a video story how PX improved their first response time from 24 h to 10 min with Ciklum 24/365 support service:
Quality support also means assisting teams fulfill their existing workloads. At ebuilders, a production services company dealing with complex content management tasks, Ciklum helped compile a team of trained and motivated staff members to offer supplemental offsite. By leveraging Ciklum’s technical expertise, ebuilders’ clients like Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger and Unilever were able to have their ever-growing production needs met without having to hire additional full-time employees. Utilizing supplemental staff to help support everyday tasks of all sizes is a proactive way of great customer support, staying one step ahead of potential problems, clearing backlogs of work and keeping clients pleased.
Check out how ebuilders produces content for Tommy Hilfiger, adidas and Unilever with Ciklum assets & content team:
Make Quality Support a Priority
No matter the size of your business, quality support is crucial to keeping your company running smoothly. Having a dedicated around-the-clock customer support staff in place ensures critical issues and questions get addressed as soon as possible, which means customers aren’t being left behind when problems arise. Offsite support staff can help bolster your company’s output, anticipating customer needs before they arise. Without dedicated support teams, businesses can irate existing customers, churn frustrated clients and lose potential sales.
Ciklum’s custom software engineering solutions offer support to projects of any size. Whether it’s an engineering, IT or customer support need, Ciklum’s managed services can scale to any size and provide outstanding support that fits any budget.