If you sell products, you need to offer support to your customers… It’s as simple as that.
Though, rather than seeing support as a necessary evil, you should look at it as a great investment.
Offering good support can dramatically lower refund rates. If people feel like what they bought is broken and that you don’t give a toss, they will quickly reach for the chargeback button.
More importantly, a good support desk can also help you create raving fans that will buy more of your products, simply because they can see that you care about your customers and products.
Don’t Skimp – Get a Proper Desk!
Start by getting yourself some proper support desk software. There is absolutely no excuse not to.
Most of the good cloud based solutions offer a free version that you can then scale up to various paid versions as your business grows. The automation and tracking built into these solutions will help both you and your customers.
Don’t hide It
If your customers need help, they want it now… and nothing frustrates them more than having to hunt for a way to contact you.
Make your support and contact links prominent on all your pages and receipts… you’re here to help, not to hide. Doing so has the added benefit of giving your products and promos a lot of instant credibility.
Tell Them What To Expect
Nobody expects any but the biggest companies in the world to have 24/7 support. It’s perfectly fine to only be open during business hours or to take the weekend off. But you need to let your customers know!
List the opening hours for your support desk and more importantly give people an estimate of your response times. And if some tickets are particularly hard to deal with, at least send a response saying that you’re “on it”.
You’ll find that most people won’t mind waiting if they are given realistic expectations. It’s the not knowing and feeling of being abandoned that makes the reach for the refund.
Maybe you can deal with support tickets yourself, at least in the beginning. However, odds are that your time is better spent elsewhere in your business. At some point it will become too much for you to handle on your own though. Don’t let your customers suffer because you are either stingy or a control freak.
Consider hiring help to man your support desk. If you have sold enough products to get hundreds of tickets, you probably have the money to hire help anyway.
The Untold Secret of Good Support
The best support in the world is the kind you don’t have to give.
Your new customers would rather get on with using your product than waiting 24 hours for a response… no matter how good your answers are and how fancy your desk looks.
Give your customers all the knowledge and information they need to get started, this could be
- Detailed tutorial videos
- Quick start guides
- FAQs (frequently asked questions)
Also remember that your sales copy doesn’t just need to sell… it also needs to weed out the people that should not buy your product.
Support as a Sales Agent
If you treat support as an integral part of your business you’ll quickly find that your support desk can become your best sales agent.
People buy from vendors they know, like and trust. And very few things build trust as quickly as a good response to a support ticket.
Your support desk can turn complaints into additional sales and refunds into raving fans.
Just remember the golden rule… treat others the way you want to be treated yourself. Give the kind of support you’d want to encounter after having a problem with something you have bought.
Do that and your business and reputation will prosper.