Imagine a chef without the right utensils or an architect without blueprints. That’s what it’s like when a customer service-led growth (CSLG) strategy doesn’t have the right tools or processes. You could do your job without the right tools, but do you want to? Probably not.
Just like a contractor needs the right hammers, plywood, and screwdrivers to build a house, you need the right tools for your customer service team to build lifelong customer relationships.
Give your teams the tools and processes that can help them measure their performance better and improve the customer experience. With the right tools, your teams are better equipped to boost retention and loyalty.
01. Draft SLAs for your customer service team
In customer relationships, it’s all about expectations. An SLA, or service level agreement, helps establish the relationship between you and your customers by setting expectations. With SLAs in place, your customer service teams are more informed about response times, too. Timely responses can improve your customer service by showing customers their queries are important to your team.
Your SLA should highlight the service you’re providing, a point of contact, and how you’ll measure fulfillment of the agreement. Components of your SLA should include the scope of services, the responsibilities of both the provider and the customer, and the cost of services. For example, what does your client consider “timely” delivery?
Want customers on board with your SLA from day one? Consider the agreement from their point of view and get them involved. Here’s how:
- Align your SLA with your customers’ desired outcomes. What do they want out of the partnership?
- Include customers in the creation process. What aspects do they value most?
- Review and update SLAs as necessary. What’s working and what’s not?
Plus, you can offer remedies or credits for any service levels not met, so customers know they’re getting their money’s worth. These best practices for your SLAs will keep everyone happy and on the same page.
02. Set up a CSAT score collection process
CSAT, or customer satisfaction score, tells you how happy and satisfied your customers are. More specifically, it shows you whether your customers find value in your brand. Sounds simple enough, but getting and keeping a high CSAT score is key to customer service-led growth. And that can make it a challenge.
Your CSAT score gives you intel about the customer service areas that need work. A standard collection process will give your reps the info they need to make the right decisions and cultivate better customer relationships. Make this collection a standard process that gets documented for all your service reps, so they can easily find the data when they need it.
Which parts of your service or product are a hassle for customers? What areas cause the most friction? Uncover these answers by setting up a solid CSAT collection process. This way, everyone on your support team knows what to do. They know how to pull a report to get the CSAT score or what tool to use to find it.
03. Design thoughtful customer feedback forms
You can’t understand your customers if you don’t talk to them. Customer feedback forms are the most direct way to find out what customers really think about your customer service.
To get the most out of customer feedback, ask specific questions about their experience with your product. This will help you understand the exact areas where they want to see improvements.
For example, if customer feedback tells you a lot of people are struggling with your latest feature, it’s time to go back to the product team and see if they can make that feature more usable.
Feedback forms need both product- and service-related questions. Here are some examples:
- What is something we already offer, or could offer, that would lead you to recommend us to others?
- What features of our product are you most satisfied with? Least satisfied with?
- If you were in charge, which features or services would you offer to customers like yourself?
If you want to keep your customers around (and you do; no one likes customer churn), you need that feedback. It’s the only way to improve your customer service-led growth strategy.
Once you learn what customers want from you, then you can find ways to show them you’re the brand for them.
04. Set up a customer onboarding process
If the SLA is the handshake, customer onboarding is the first working lunch. This is how your customers really get to know you and your product. Onboarding sets up your customers so they can get familiar with your product. In one survey, a whopping 86% of respondents said that good onboarding makes them more likely to stay loyal.
Ramp-up can be cumbersome for new customers. Good onboarding can soothe that ache. For customer-service led growth, your onboarding should keep your customers engaged long after onboarding is over. That means:
- Keep communications frequent: We’re not saying you should badger them, but you also don’t want to leave customers wondering what to do next. For the first month, communicate with them at least once per week until they are comfortable using your product. After that, reach out to them less often.
- Introduce them to everyone they’ll be working with: If customers have any questions between weekly communications with your support team, they need a way to talk to someone who can help them.
- Get them comfortable using your product: You want your new customers to use and master your product as soon as possible and to establish a pattern of use. And they need resources: knowledge base articles, chat, customer support, FAQs, tutorials, and in-product tips.
Onboarding is often the difference between a loyal customer who sees value in your product and one who churns.
05. Develop support resources for your customers
Even after onboarding, new customers need resources and content that offer support for troubleshooting issues, product education, and more. Provide collateral to help your customers better understand your product, so they can more easily engage with it — and with your brand.
Support collateral gives your customers independence. And they want that independence. In fact, one report shows us that almost 59% of customers prefer using a self-service option for simple issues.
Each customer will have different needs. So, your support system should include a variety of resources. Think of it like a well-stocked pantry with all the different food groups. Add resources like:
- Help centers
- Product demonstrations
- Feature tutorials
- Knowledge base articles
- FAQ landing pages
Let your customer feedback become the foundation for your support collateral. For example, you could create help center topics or a FAQ page based on questions they have. Or make feature-specific collateral, so you can promote certain features to customers who’d benefit most.
06. Set up a performance-tracking dashboard
To drive customer service-led growth, you need to know how customer service is affecting the customer experience. The bottom line is: you can’t improve your customers’ experience if you don’t understand the impact that your service has on them. Enter performance data monitoring.
You can look at the metrics in your performance dashboard and see where in your customer’s journey they stop using your product as much (i.e., where they stop seeing value in it). Experience metrics will provide this context, so you can understand why your customers choose you and what value they get.
Those are metrics like:
- CSAT scores, which show how happy and satisfied your customers are with your brand and product.
- First contact resolution rate, which shows how often calls or queries are resolved during the first interaction without needing a follow-up interaction.
- Customer onboarding time, which is how long it takes a customer to onboard. This depends on how complex your product is, but it generally takes 30-90 days.
- Average response times, which show how long it takes for reps to respond to a customer query.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures loyalty and helps you identify your champion customers by asking them how likely they are to recommend your product to someone else.
- Customer churn rate, which compares customers who churn to retained customers.
These metrics give you direct insights into customer behavior and preference, so you can close the gaps between the service your company offers and the service your customers want.
07. Create a query management process for CSLG
Query management is just a fancy term for the way you handle any customer questions or queries that come in. A query management process ensures that all of those requests are captured and handled efficiently, so customers feel confident that you’ll solve their problems.
Poorly handled queries are the enemy of good customer experience. Say a customer is having trouble with a critical feature that they use every day. If they don’t get an answer from your team for several days, they can’t use your product. They’re getting more frustrated as each day passes, and the risk of churn is increasing by the minute.
But if you have a process in place that prioritizes critical queries, they won’t have to wait.
A good workflow is like a recipe: if you follow it and have the right ingredients, you end up with a delicious cake. If not, you end up with a mess. A clear workflow will show your reps how to answer, disperse, and escalate queries.
With a solid query management system in place, all of your agents have the knowledge and tools to work through each situation, no matter how complex.
Future-proof your customer service-led growth with the right tools & processes
Keep in mind that these tools and processes do not create a “set it and forget it” situation. It’s more of a “set it and check on it every couple of months” situation.
As you work with these tools, you may need to adjust based on customer feedback, new data, and other insights.
For example, let’s say your customer onboarding process isn’t getting you the high engagement rate you hoped it would. You want customers more involved and active. A simple shift to your onboarding, like covering more features or spending more time on a highly used feature, might help your customers get more out of your product and increase their use later on.
With a plan to evaluate these processes, you’re more likely to find ways to improve them. Book a free demo with Helpwise and lay the groundwork for customer service-led growth.