Biz Tips: Customer Service Is Lacking In Software Companies. Here’s Why That Needs To Change

Biz Tips: Customer Service Is Lacking In Software Companies. Here’s Why That Needs To Change

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Customer Service Is Lacking In Software Companies. Here’s Why That Needs To Change

Customer service is a major part of any software service company — or at least, it should be.

Unfortunately, many software companies overlook what good customer service really means. A recent study indicated 33% of Americans say they’ll consider hiring a different company after a single instance of poor service.

That’s very little room for error.

In today’s competitive market, if your customer service isn’t stellar, your customers will look elsewhere for their software solutions. There’s nothing worse than calling a customer support line when you really need help, only to be confronted with a seemingly endless labyrinth of automated options.

Press nine, press star, call a different number.

When I started my software company, Ximble, I aimed to have a customer service team that treated our customers the way I’d want to be treated. I felt like this was one aspect of the business relationship that absolutely could not be skipped over. And even though this ended up being a major undertaking, particularly for an early-stage company, I vowed to take it seriously.

And it’s paid off — tremendously.

Here’s why software companies need to step up their game when it comes to customer service:

1. Dealing with clients is an opportunity to improve, not a necessary evil.

Many companies are so focused on their product that they neglect the most important part — the client.

These companies offer the bare minimum customer service, like a basic chat and email feature, or voice support that’s completely automated, instead of spending a little more money (and thought) on higher-quality services. Sometimes, customers just need to speak to an actual person on the phone, especially in an emergency situation. In fact, 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent. If that number was even 25%, it would still be worth looking into. But 75% means there is a glaring problem.

When companies brush off customer service, they miss out the opportunity to build meaningful and emotional client relationships.

But as soon as you make yourself available to walk a customer through the problem over a quick phone call, they get the sense you genuinely value and want to help them.

Too many people today feel like tech companies don’t care about them, which diminishes brand allegiance. In fact, they will go out of their way to avoid interacting with ineffective, impersonal customer service.

But if you can break that cycle and present an empathetic face, you’ll get a lot of loyal clients in return.

2. Great customer service doesn’t need to be expensive.

Even if you’re a small company with a limited staff and budget, you still have to find ways to keep clients happy.

One of the best ways to build out your customer service offering is by leveraging a remote team. At Ximble, lots of our support folks don’t have a regular schedule. We have hired people in school, stay-at home-moms, and others only available for just a few days a week. But their salary expectations were reasonable, and they provided amazing client support. What’s more, given their flexible hours, our customer service representatives are happier and better prepared to help our customers.

In the end, the system works for everyone.

You can hire a great customer service team without breaking the bank, but trust me, you stand to lose a lot when you fail to prioritize it.

3. Customer service can make or break a company’s reputation.

No matter how stellar your product or team, all software has occasional hiccups.

But with an effective strategy, you can hold on to customers — even through the snafus.

Apple knows this well. People were dubious when Apple introduced its first retail store in 2002, as tech retail stores were in decline. But the naysayers were proven wrong; the in-store experience has become a crucial component of Apple’s customer relations. After pinpointing your needs, the Apple Geniuses can in some cases take care of your tech issue on the spot. If you need hand-holding, they’re happy to do it. Not only are their products easy to use, but when you have a problem, they’ll quickly take care of it in their stores or over the phone.

At my company, we have some clients that would have left us years ago if it wasn’t for our dedication to helping them on their terms.

But when you go above and beyond to respond to their issues, they will feel loyal to you and weather whatever minor storms arise. In today’s digital world, your competition is always one click away. Having easy, competent, and available support is crucial to keeping clients.

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