With the advent of new communication channels including websites and social media, reaching out to the right customers has become easier for emerging businesses. However, more than attracting new customers, it is the retention of existing customers that determines the long-term profitability of a business.
According to a survey, 70% of companies save more by retaining old customers than investing in marketing strategies to attract new ones. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, a business must effectively engage customers not only before and during the sales process, but also afterwards to deliver a great customer experience.
The value of good after sales support cannot be overstated. 1 in 3 customers (33 percent) is likely to switch their choice of the brand after one bad customer service experience. Conversely, according to the same report, 69 percent of customers are likely to spend more on a business with good service and after-sales support.
But what entails good customer service and how can small business owners ensure an after-sales service that will attract customers?
For customers, prompt support and round-the-clock availability are among the factors that make for a good experience. Websites typically have FAQs to resolve general queries. Businesses can also integrate an AI-enabled chatbot on their website for quick query resolution anytime, anywhere. However, what happens when the scope of the query is complicated for the chatbot to handle?
Some special requests such as cleaning a new appliance, assembling a DIY kit at home or highlighting a product malfunction, will require a human touch, or even visual demonstration that cannot be provided by either a chatbot or an FAQ section on the website. For these kinds of complex questions, customers will want to talk to a support representative on the phone.
This is precisely where video-based customer support solutions step in.
Facing the challenge: How virtual in-person engagement can enhance the online customer experience after sales
Video calling support can make the process of grievance resolution much more streamlined by initiating a live interaction with a customer support executive to resolve the issue.
For instance, let's take the case of a customer who has bought a washing machine from a local electronics shop. A couple of weeks later, the customer began facing issues with the machine. Conventionally, the standard operating procedure will see the customer interacting with the support agent over a voice call or a chat.
This approach requires the customer to describe the problem accurately and in detail to help the agent get to the bottom of the problem. If the problem is a major one, then the support agent would align the technician to make a visit to the customer's home to understand the issue. After the technician identifies the problem, they may not have the required tools to resolve it then and there. In that case, the technician will need to make another visit.
Many customers would find the prospect of repeated visits undesirable, especially in the post-pandemic landscape when minimizing physical contact with strangers is a priority for all. As we can see, this process is not just lengthy but also lacks transparency as the customer cannot always identify the root cause of the problem at the initial level and may approach a support agent repeatedly. The result? Lengthy turnaround time, inconsistency, lack of speed and overall frustration with the existing customer support model – none of which make for good customer experiences.
These challenges can be easily resolved by bringing video-based customer support options into the picture. Replacing the voice call with a video call in the aforementioned example allows the customer to describe the issue in detail and receive a step-by-step guide from the agent on how to resolve it. In case the problem requires hands-on assistance, the agent can arrange for a technician’s visit with all the necessary information and tools at their disposal, thereby eliminating the need for multiple visits.
As it is clear, integrating video calling support allows businesses to improve after-sales customer experience by simplifying the process of grievance resolution, enabling faster turnaround times, and helping customer support agents to resolve issues more efficiently.
The solutions are available in the market for discerning enterprises to adopt and gain a competitive advantage over their peers. As one such business player, the call is yours to make: Do you want to stick to the old ways of customer engagement or do you want to offer seamless, quick, and convenient after-sales support to your customers?
(Varun Gupta is Director, KENT RO Systems)
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