6 Ways Customer Support Agents Can Help Shorten Your Sales Cycle
Customer support teams are essential for success, regardless of your industry. Don’t believe me? Imagine how you would feel buying a product online – it could be anything – only to have a question that will essentially determine how you use the product.
You think to yourself, “I’ll hop online and ask their customer service team for help.”
Once you make it back to the website, you look over the page, expecting to see a “chat now” button on the homepage. You don’t see anything of the sort. In fact, the only way to contact the business is to send them an email and wait 3-5 business days.
Sounds annoying, right? Odds are, you would give up on the product and likely request a refund. This sentiment resonates with most shoppers. Research shows that 63% of people say they are more likely to stay in touch with an online business if they have a live chat option.
We live in an age of instant information. People are no longer willing to wait days to get answers to seemingly basic questions. Customers and interested prospects alike want fast, accurate, and friendly support.
Today, I will share six ways your customer support agents can help boost your sales and drive engagement across all marketing channels.
1. Overcome Objections
The first way your service team can increase sales is by overcoming objections.
We are creatures of habit. We like things a certain way, and new changes can be overwhelming and frustrating. Consequently, when introduced to a new product or service, our default reaction is to say, “no, thank you.”
Well, if you let everyone who contacts your support team leave without attempting to overcome their objections, you will have a hard time converting visitors into customers.
I’ve found the best way to counter this issue is to create a list of common objections and train your support team to counter these problems.
For instance, if someone says they are not interested in a product demonstration because they don’t have time, your team could respond, “I totally understand that you’re pressed for time. Is there a time this week when you will be free to check out a quick demo?”
Sometimes, a simple rebuttal is all you need to turn casual visitors into paying customers.
The easiest way to implement this strategy is to make a list of industry-specific goals and pain points. Use analytics, customer feedback, and previous support interactions to determine what kind of questions your customers ask the most. Once you have a list of questions, work with your team to prepare friendly (NOT overly pushy) rebuttals.
2. Present Personalized Content and Offers
Personalizing customer service experiences for visitors can also improve sales. An impressive 80% of people say they would like to see more personalized content from offers from brands they enjoy.
Personalization is often used on other marketing platforms, like email and social media. However, you’re missing out on a significant sales and engagement opportunity if you don’t add this element to your support strategy.
The easiest way to get started is to teach your customer service agent to ask probing questions and review their history with your brand, if applicable.
So, let’s say an email subscriber contacts your support team. Instead of starting from square one, your team could look up their information in your CRM software to learn more about their interests.
Here’s an example so you can see what I mean:
Let’s say the support team at an online pet store wants to offer some of their new products to people who reach out with questions or concerns. If the person on the other end of the conversation is a dog owner, you wouldn’t want to pitch cat food. Doing so could cause a loss of trust and will likely lead to a negative experience.
Now imagine the same situation, except you can see what kind of emails the person you’re talking to receives from your business. If you see they are segmented as cat owners, you can offer a personalized product that matches their needs.
3. Gather User Feedback to Improve Existing Products
Your support agents can also leverage the power of customer conversations to gather feedback and improve existing products, utilizing AI in customer experience to analyze and synthesize these interactions for deeper insights. Odds are, people contact your business when they have minor questions or complaints. Even if these are easy fixes, you can still use this information to fine-tune your business.
We all have room for growth, and your customers are the best way to figure out how to start the process effectively. For example, suppose you see multiple complaints exclaiming that new users cannot figure out how to use a specific feature included in your software. In that case, you can correct this issue by tuning your onboarding process or creating a guide on your blog.
You can bet that future customers will appreciate these improvements.
If users don’t give direct feedback, teach your team how to ask the right questions. A simple query like, “How can we improve your experience?” can lead to a list of tweaks and improvements you can make to your website and existing products.
4. Turn Negative Experiences into Something Positive
Despite your best efforts, some people will approach your support team with an extremely negative point of view. Some leaders and marketers encourage their teams to empathize with these users, then move on to more fruitful leads.
The truth is, you can turn many negative experiences into something positive. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re dealing with an irate customer:
- Never blame them if they make a mistake
- Admit when you’re wrong
- Ask probing questions so you can fix the problem
- Offer a solution and make sure the customer accepts it
- Follow-up with users a week or two after they contact your team
There are a few ways this can impact your overall sales. For starters, if you manage to impress an angry customer, they may change their mind because you actually tried to help solve their problem. As a result, they are more likely to shop with your business again, which will improve your retention rate and profits.
Angry customers who contact your support team are likely to leave negative feedback on your website or social media. When you step up and resolve their concerns, they may change their review.
This gesture can significantly impact future sales. A jaw-dropping 97% of people look for reviews before placing an order online. If these people see mostly positive reviews – particularly those that mention the quality of your product or the responsiveness of your support team – they are more likely to give your brand a closer look.
5. Grow Your Other Marketing & Lead Generation Channels
Believe it or not, you can use your customer support team to grow other lead generation channels. We use this strategy to build our email list and convince users to join our Facebook group. We noticed a significant improvement in our lead generation efforts and engagement through these efforts.
As you can imagine, these improvements resulted in more sales.
The key to making this strategy work for your business is to ask customers who are pleased with your product or brand to take action. For example, let’s say someone reached out to your team with a question. Your support agents go above and beyond to give them a satisfactory answer and a discount for their trouble.
The user clearly showed they were satisfied with their experience. Now’s your chance.
Ask the visitor to join your email list, follow you on social media, or otherwise take action that will result in enhanced awareness and engagement.
There’s an excellent chance the person on the other end will at least consider the request because your team worked so hard to resolve their problem. These small but meaningful interactions can help you grow in plenty of new and exciting ways.
6. Ensure Customer Satisfaction with a Success Team
Finally, you can boost sales and improve satisfaction with a customer success team integrated with omnichannel software. I consider success teams, supported by omnichannel strategies, an extension of customer service.
The most significant difference is they don’t wait for customers to reach out to them first. Instead, success teams have a running list of new customers and reach out to them so they can see if they have any questions or concerns and help them be more successful with your product.
You can bet that for every ten people that contact your support team, there are likely hundreds more who never bothered to reach out. Your success team can connect with these and help them maximize the value of your product or service.
The best way to have this interaction is through email. A vast majority of people check their email daily, so there’s a good chance they will see your message within minutes of you hitting the send button.
Use this opportunity to bring some of the previously mentioned tips into play. So, your agents could use this opportunity to do things like gather feedback, answer questions, and provide personalized offers.
We found that a success team made a massive difference for us. I believe it could have the same impact on your business.
How Will Your Customer Support Team Help Sales?
It’s clear that customer support agents can help your company grow in countless ways. Industry experts use the six strategies mentioned here today to boost sales through support channels.
Leaders can take advantage of these benefits and improve their sales and customer rapport by taking action today. Building a strong support team is a time-consuming process, but it’s something that every online business needs to thrive.
About the Author: Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.