6 ways support practices directly impact your bottom line
Written by Erin Green
Technical support isn’t necessarily the first department anyone thinks of when they’re looking for ways to improve a company’s bottom line. Usually, those questions are reserved for sales and marketing teams to discover new customers and new ways to bring in money.
But how your ISP or smart home brand handles customer support can have a major impact on your company—for better or for worse.
It’s not bringing in new revenue, sure—but reducing costs is a key component of improving a business’ overall profitability. After all, the lower your costs, the more of your existing revenue counts as profit.
For example, one increasingly popular way to reduce costs for support is to introduce self-service support options. They help keep unnecessary calls out of your call center, which helps agents spend fewer paid hours on calls and gives them time to focus on high-priority issues.
Another technique for helping reduce time dedicated to handle time—and the associated costs—is to give agents visibility into the home network. When they can see what’s happening, they don’t go through a lengthy Q&A process to diagnose WiFi issues, and can get through calls faster. Plus, then they can often skip the expensive process of sending a technician.
On the flip side, there are some support practices that won’t just not reduce your costs. They can actually increase them!
Specifically, the issue here is when your team needs to handle everything that comes into your support department manually. When they need to answer every call, ask every question, and run through every possible solution, the paid time spent can really add up.
On top of that, when agents need to handle everything manually, technicians often do too—which means truck rolls, even if it’s just a cable that isn’t plugged in right. That can get expensive for your business, and frustrating for customers if they’re footing the bill.
Upselling on support calls isn’t just the stuff of legends. Under the right conditions, it can happen quite regularly! In fact, recent numbers suggest that almost 90% of American consumers will make an additional purchase after a good customer service experience.
The key condition here is transparency. Customers rarely trust the voice on the other end of the phone to tell them if they need a new gadget in their home network. But when they can see exactly what’s going wrong in their network, and it’s clear that the new gadget will solve that problem, upsell conversations become much easier.
It’s not just suspicion about anyone trying to sell them something over the phone. There’s a lot that can push customers away from your business these days, even when it happens unintentionally.
No matter how genuine your agents are, customers won’t be happy with your company if they feel like they’re being upsold, they’ve spent too long on the phone, they’re not getting the answers they need—the list goes on. They may even churn because of it, especially if they think these issues happen too often.
There are two things all customers love talking about: awesome experiences, and horrible ones.
When your team uses support practices like the ones we’ve talked about here, they can promote positive experiences for customers in each and every interaction. That’s something that customers will talk about in online reviews of your services and your company, and in conversations with friends and family.
It’s especially likely to come up after a friend or family member has a bad experience with another company!
Remember what we said about how customers love to talk about horrible experiences?
It’s an incredibly subjective matter, but there’s a lot that can contribute to this perception on the part of the customer. For example, nearly 60% of customers say the most frustrating part of dealing with customer service is waiting on hold. On top of that, 70% report getting irritated when they’re transferred from department to department, and 33% get annoyed when they have to repeat themselves.
And just think about how often things like that can happen on completely manual tech support calls.
That’s all bad news because recent data shows that 90% of consumers use information about customer service to decide whether to do business with a company. So if potential customers are only hearing about bad experiences, they’re likely not to engage with you at all.
Ready to find the right support practices for your business’ bottom line?