Customer satisfaction is one of the most important metrics for any business. Here at AODocs, we’ve put a lot of work into our client support systems. So, we’re very pleased to say that it’s paid off. To be precise, we’ve managed to keep 98% of our customers happy (Source: AODocs' Zendesk Satisfaction Rating data). It’s something that we’re very proud of (even though we’re always aiming for 100%).
How do we do it? It’s actually pretty simple. There are six reasons why our customers keep giving us “thumbs up.” Since satisfied customers are good for every kind of business, we want to share our process so your clients can be just as happy as ours.
1. Have a dedicated support team
Great customer satisfaction starts with a great support team. There’s no way around it. Without passionate, knowledgeable support staff, you’re going to have trouble keeping clients happy. Creating a support team is often an afterthought for many organizations. That’s a mistake. No other team will help you retain clients better than an excellent support team. Remember, it’s much cheaper to keep customers than attract new ones.
“We want to make the customer happy.” - Marc A., Customer Support
If we had to summarize our support team in one sentence, we’d use this quote. This is what an organization should aim to hear from their support agents. Of course, you need to put work into hiring talented people and making sure that they know (and love) your product. Once you do, the results will speak for themselves.
2. Respond quickly
When a customer has a problem, they want it to be resolved quickly. It’s common sense. The longer it takes for them to hear back from you, the more upset they’re likely to be. That’s why it’s essential to respond to requests as quickly as possible.
A good first step is setting up an automated email that confirms that you have received their request and are working to solve it. There’s nothing worse than contacting support and being unsure if you completed the form correctly because you didn’t receive a confirmation email. It can lead to duplicate support tickets that hurt your team’s ability to respond quickly.
After the automatic email, your team should try to respond within a couple of hours. At AODocs, 75% of our support requests are replied to within the hour.
Now, it’s not always possible to solve every issue quickly. That said, just because you haven’t figured out the problem doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get back to them. Even if it’s an email notifying the customer that you’re working on their issue, acknowledging that your team is on the case is an excellent way to keep someone from becoming frustrated.
3. Offer a self-service option
You can have the best support team in the world but if they get overwhelmed with requests, you’re going to run into issues with customer satisfaction. So, what’s the solution? Provide resources that help clients help themselves. Self-service options can do an incredible job of reducing support requests and improving client happiness. It’s a win-win.
What does a self-service option look like? For AODocs, it’s our Knowledge Base. We’ve got over 310 articles (and more are on the way) to help our users resolve everything from simple terminology questions to more complex configuration setting problems. Last year, users visited the Knowledge Base 152,000 times. Can you imagine if we had that many support requests instead?
The key to a successful self-serve resource is its size and accuracy. The more questions that it can answer correctly, the fewer requests your support team will have to deal with. That’s why we add between 80 to 120 new articles (and 200+ screenshots) every time we release a new version of AODocs. If you’re just getting started, you should concentrate on building documentation that answers the common questions and then, as time goes on, cover the increasingly detailed subjects. If you release an update, make sure that you refresh all of your existing articles before moving on to any new ones. A self-serve resource isn’t useful if it isn’t accurate. Deflecting these requests away from your support team helps them respond faster and provide better support. It can even act as a resource that you can use when training your new support agents.
4. Use the latest technology
With all the customer support tools out there right now, you shouldn’t be managing your requests via Outlook. There are a lot of fantastic solutions on the market that help you handle your support requests more efficiently. AODocs is using Zendesk and we’ve got nothing but good things to say about it. Regardless of which platform you choose to use, almost all of these tools centralize, prioritize, and track support requests from a number of different channels. In short, missed requests should be a thing of the past.
One thing that we really like about Zendesk is their “Answer Bot.” This chatbot analyzes a customer’s question to see if there is already an existing help article (again, the value of a comprehensive self-serve knowledge base). If there is, it directs them to the relevant article that can solve their problem faster while saving us from a new support ticket. That’s why the latest technology can make your support team’s life way easier.
5. Make it easy to get in touch
Make sure that your support team is easy to contact. If you’re a customer, there’s nothing worse than spending 15 minutes trying to find support’s “contact us” page when you’ve run into a problem. If your clients are agitated before even sending their initial request, you’re putting your support agents in a tough spot. That’s why AODocs gives customers multiple channels (from web forms to email and chatbots) that they can use to contact us. If a customer is already having a tough day, don’t make it any tougher.
6. Go above and beyond
Last but not least, your support team should be willing to go above and beyond the usual call of duty to keep your customers happy. That’s why step number one is so important. You need to have people who are passionate enough to go the extra mile. The value of excellent service cannot be overstated. A support agent willing to do whatever it takes to solve a problem can turn an angry customer into a product evangelist. At AODocs, it’s not uncommon for our support agents to hop on Google Hangouts to video chat with customers to better understand their problem.
If you can implement these six steps, you should see an uptick in your customer satisfaction numbers. It’s hard work but it’s also totally worth it. Just see what some of our customers have to say:
"Very quick response. It solved my issue right away. Excellent service." - Laszlo B., CEVA
“AODocs support is like a lowball of top shelf single malt whiskey. Relaxing and over too far quick but leaves a memorable aftertaste. Good on ya, AODocs.” - An IT Director in the Education Industry
“This was great. Dave contacted me directly, got the necessary information to hand off to the development team and got back the next day with the root cause for the issue. We made the change to the affected document and the issue was resolved. Dave followed up to make sure the issue was resolved.” - Business Manager for a Multi-National Manufacturer