Make Customer Support Your Secret Weapon

In a previous post about customer support, we defined it as:

A subset of UX design centered around customer grievances.

Go check out that post now if you haven’t yet.

There were a few reasons for offering exceptional support mentioned in that post, but let’s take a deeper dive.

Drive Word of Mouth Traffic

Your business’ ability to create positive support experiences is one the best ¬†tools you have for driving word of mouth traffic. ¬†People can’t help but to share the story with others.

So what exactly can positive WoM do for your business?  There are four reasons why positive WoM is worth working overtime for:

1) Increases conversions

You can say anything about your business that you want.  You can run conversion tests on your landing page, publish useful content on your blog, and conduct any number of value-adding marketing strategies.

None of it will be as potent as an honest recommendation from a member of your target audience.

2) Saves you time

Getting traffic is hard. ¬†It’s one of the primary reasons why 2-sided marketplaces like Etsy and Themeforest are thriving, beloved communities.

WoM makes things easier.  If you struggle with traffic, putting your efforts into delivering an amazing experience for your current customers can be a viable acquisition strategy.

3) Can’t be controlled

Unlike virality which can be engineered, WoM is a rogue force. ¬†The dangers of negative word of mouth are just as real as the spoils of positive WoM. ¬†It’s up to you to make sure the WoM your business gets is positive.

4) Builds trust

Customer trust is extremely valuable and hard to obtain.  Positive WoM from members of the market builds trust with potential customers, and that initial trust comes from a great interaction with a customer.

Gain Valuable Insight

Let’s face it, following customer feedback can be dangerous. ¬†They may tell you they want one thing, but the truth is that they don’t know what they want (most of us don’t).

In contrast, when they are having a problem, they just want the problem fixed. ¬†They’re not trying to predict their needs, they are telling you what they need right now.

What caused that need?  Customer support requests can habitually provide you with insight to improve the user experience your product delivers.

Build Your Moat

Great customer support helps you build your moat.  How do you stop a competitor from taking your customers?  The truth is someone else can build your product, maybe even build it better.

It’s extremely unlikely you have proprietary technology. ¬†For GPL-based code, this problem is exacerbated. ¬†Someone can actually take your code and make it better, or sell it better.

Are you simply better than everyone else?

What about your marketing channels? ¬†What’s keeping someone else from outranking you in Google? ¬†What if they do it cheaper, or have an existing brand to leverage? ¬†A bigger team working on the product?

When one of your customers needs help, that’s¬†your¬†chance to stand out. ¬†That is an experience between you and your customer that cannot so easily be replicated. ¬†When it’s done well, none of your competitors ever get that opportunity. ¬†They simply do not get the chance to share that experience with your customers because they never leave.

It’s an opportunity, and an extremely scarce one at that. ¬†It can be a brief moment in time, and possibly the most important in each one of your customers’ lifecycle.

Why WordPress Developers Have it Made

Let’s say you’re a general contractor. ¬†You do great work and offer impeccable customer support – you really WOW your customers. ¬†They now recommend you to all their friends. Good right?

Now imagine, if every single one of those customers ALSO had a web presence. ¬†Well, you’d have to be selling WordPress products for that luxury ūüėõ

For anyone selling WordPress products, the stakes for reciprocation for exceptional customer support are very high.  You are selling products to people that either have a web presence or are creating one right now.

For the same reason, you’re not going to make it if your support is sub-par. ¬†Your customers will spread the message far and wide.

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