Types of Customer Services & What Suits Your Small Business Best

types-of-customer-support

What types of customer services do you offer? Customer support is a crucial part of making sure your customers are happy with your brand.

There are many types of customer services, but no single one suits every business, every situation, or every customer. You can always connect with your customers over the good old email and telephone, but you should also try Live Chat, Help Desk, canned email responses, and more.

In this blog post, we will go over the major types of customer services and help you figure out which ones would work best for your small business!

What is Customer Service and What Does it Do for Business Growth?

Customer service is the practice of providing customers with after-sales support.

It may help drive revenue growth, but it’s essentially about customer satisfaction and retention.

The types of customer services your business offers can vary widely, depending on what you’re selling or offering to your customers.

You want their experience to be as good as possible! Here are some of the most common types:

  • Email
  • Live Chat
  • Knowledge Base (or Help Center)
  • Support Tickets
  • Social media support
  • On-call assistance

Here’s a nice video to take you through the challenges of customer service quickly:

Read also: Ace the Sales Process with These 9 Strategies Nobody Ever Follows

Understand What Your Customers Want Most

To begin with, every business owner needs to figure out what their customers desire the most. Your goal should always be to understand their expectations and offer a service that exceeds them.

For instance, if you’re a lawyer and your customers want to reach you when they need legal advice for their business, an answering service would be ideal.

On the other hand, if you run a car repair shop and your clients tend to appreciate face-to-face communication with someone who can explain technicalities in layman’s terms, then working on building stronger relationships might work best for them!

customer dashboard
EngageBay Customer Service Reports

Customers also expect companies to take care of their online presence these days. Make sure that all types of customer services are up-to-date or reflect current trends so it will benefit brand awareness.

For example: If your company offers web design services, keep your website up-to-date.

If you’re an interior decorator, make sure that your Instagram account has all types of customer services in place and is regularly updated with new photos and videos.

If you run a blog about cooking or food trends in general, offering helpful resources like ‘How To’ guides for using specific types of ingredients will create more interest from both current customers and future prospects.

This way, not only do they get the information they need right away, but it shows them just how knowledgeable your brand is when it comes to its industry!

It’s important to make customers feel appreciated. Keep track of any feedback by keeping records on what types of customer service systems work best for each type of clientele.

What Kind of Customer Service Should a Small Business Prioritize?

Long story short, there’s no one ultimate or best customer service experience that’s a one-fit-for-all. Over the years, dealing with customers has evolved into three main categories:

  1. Customer Support
  2. Customer Service
  3. Customer Success

Let’s see in detail how these three are different and what all they entail.

Customer Support is for Your Current Customers

Say your customer has bought your product or service and is experiencing difficulties with it. They would contact your customer support team.

In most cases, the customer may be reactive and riled up during their interactions with you. Some examples of when your customer needs support are:

  1. Onboarding
  2. Product or service usage
  3. Billing & delivery

Customer support teams use mediums like email, social media, or chat to resolve customer issues. Customer support can be a little tricky because you’re usually dealing with impatient customers or upset new subscribers who may be feeling confused or cheated.

Being on your toes and resolving their issues as soon as possible should be your goal. That said, your customers should also receive factually correct information that resolves their issues.

Just a fast response with not much information to help them out would frustrate them even more. Your customer’s issues could be anything — in some scenarios, they might have misunderstood how a feature works. In some others, they may not be able to figure things out by themselves, and may need the expertise of your team.

You need a fast and efficient system that different teams from your business can use at the same time to give your customer what they need — quick and effective resolutions to their queries about your product or service.

customer support tickets in EngageBay
EngageBay Customer Support Tickets View

At EngageBay, we have a robust yet super simple ticketing system that aligns the efforts of all departments around a single goal — customer delight. This way, customer service agents can send personalized emails to customers by saving the templates in advance and automating the process of responding to customer queries.

EngageBay also makes it really easy to prioritize or escalate queries. You can prioritize customers based on their score in EngageBay’s free and integrated customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Related blog: How CRM & Customer Satisfaction Tools Get Business Success

Customer Service is For Transactional Purchases

While most companies call their customer service teams ‘customer support’ teams — these two can actually have very different functions in a business.

In case you run an online e-commerce store, you’ll need the right customer service tools for:

  1. Return or exchange of products
  2. Wrong product delivery
  3. Shipping delays or lost items

In these situations, the issues could be fairly simpler than Customer Support issues. Speed is the essence here.

Even though these aren’t situations where many people need to get involved, you’ll struggle to handle these customer complaints if you don’t have the right customer service software.

A unified, integrated customer service system like EngageBay makes things really easy with these routine queries.

You can automate the responses and guide your customers through phone calls, emails, or SMS updates, without much intervention from the customer service team.

This saves a lot of time and speeds up your operations. Your goal is to have the customer issues resolved as fast as possible — so they continue doing business with you.

Customer Success is Where Your Customers Get Hooked

Often a revenue-generating model, customer success relates to the part of customer service that makes the customer’s journey with your business a successful one.

Some scenarios of this could be:

  • Client Onboarding
  • Renewals
  • Referrals

What does this mean?

When a customer has been successfully onboarded, they have been educated in the use of your product or service and are making good progress with their goals. This is when you can begin to see revenue from them.

Customer service revenue
Source: Tenor

In the case of subscription renewal, this means that your customers are continuing to use and pay for your services. If they referred a friend who then became a customer, you have one more person using or paying for your service.

Related Blog: Customer Onboarding Steps and Examples: Comprehensive Guide

For customer success, we recommend engaging your customers through:

  • Emails
  • Live Chat
  • Phone calls
  • Knowledge Bank or Help Center

Make sure that you have an email marketing strategy that nurtures all new customers in a way that they feel valued. This includes sending delightful ‘Welcome’ emails to sharing free and easily downloadable resources that can help the customer figure out your product or service.

The goal of Customer Success engagement is to get more revenue indirectly from every customer. This means focusing on customer retention and engagement — so the customers who have been nurtured through your business will stay with you for a long time.

So, whether or not your small business has a strategy to engage clients via email marketing or live chat, make sure that every touchpoint is valuable to them!

customer success Email templates
EngageBay Email Templates

If they are getting in contact with you frequently but can’t find what they’re looking for from one method of communication (e.g., an online knowledge bank), try another form such as phone calls or emails.

This way, all types of users within each segment feel able to reach out if needed. The only exception would be those interested in speaking by video call.

Now, this may or may not work for you, but if you’re going to organize webinars, video onboarding sessions, or video call appointments with your customers, make sure you use an integrated CRM with a free online appointment scheduler that syncs perfectly with your Gmail and Outlook calendars.

How to Use Emails & Live Chat for Customer Delight

A great way to interact with your customers is through emails. Emails are a fantastic tool for scheduling webinars, sending invoices and receipts, sharing resources (e-books or guides), etc.

Live Chat works very well for small businesses too. It is a great way to provide one-on-one support and answer questions as they arise.

Emails

You need to prioritize emails in your customer service. How do you make emails work for you? Let’s take a scenario and break it down.

Say a customer has emailed you about an issue concerning their purchase. You need to start off by responding to them immediately so they know you’ve taken note of their concern.

Most businesses, especially small businesses, are unable to do this because just don’t have the resources to. This is why email marketing software is crucial for small businesses looking to improve their customer service.

With marketing automation, you can automatically send back a quick reply that may read somewhat like this:

customer support email example
Source: Groove

Responses like this do multiple things for you:

  • Personalize your email by addressing the customer by their name
  • Acknowledge your customer’s query
  • Assure customers that your team is on top of things
  • Improve your customer support efficiency

In case your team handles a large volume of queries every day, give your customers a longer wait time. This ensures you’re always delivering on your promise within the set time frame.

EngageBay lets you design and customize any number of email responses like this. You can have canned responses, autoresponders, and even email sequences that are automatically sent based on customer behavior.

trigger email automation
EngageBay Trigger Email Automation

You can add any conditions for a single email or an email drip campaign to get triggered in the automation workflow. This way, you’re responding to your customers really quickly, and with the most appropriate response instead of a generic, staple email.

Live Chat

Live Chat is among the best types of customer service tools today, and small business owners can make the most of it too. The best part about live chat is that it can be used while you are busy with other tasks.

It also offers a more personal touch than emails and phone calls, which customers might appreciate. Another great thing about Live Chat is the fact that it has been shown to increase conversions by a lot. Neil Patel says he was able to help a client drive up their conversions by 45% using Live Chat!

live chat

EngageBay’s free Live Chat software comes with customer tracking, unlimited websites widget, deep insights, complete automation, emails transcripts, chat shortcuts, and many more features.

Seamless Chatting Experience

Say you are guiding your customer to take different actions on your website.

The Live Chat feature follows seamlessly through all the website pages so your customer can keep taking help from you.

Live Chat Transfers

All queries cannot be resolved through automated responses or automated customer service.

In case your customer has issues to be resolved by an expert, you can easily transfer the query from the chatbot to your customer service team.

Shortcuts & Customizations

The Live Chat feature is completely customizable — down to the colors and design and with standard responses for frequently asked questions.

Follow-up Emails

As soon as you’re done chatting with your customer, you can send them automated emails acknowledging your conversation and the outcome.

Your follow-up email can include downloadable help resources to fix the customer’s issues, the right contact information to reach out to an expert, and links to read more about the answers to the customer’s query.

The follow-up emails can be automated by EngageBay just as well, and they help you close customer queries with much better customer satisfaction.

Read also: Live Chat Support Can Make a Huge Difference in Your Business

Let Your Customers Help Themselves with a Help Desk

All of what we’ve covered till this point is great, but you must remember that in the age of easy internet access, plenty of people prefer to learn things on their own.

A great help desk is a must-have for all small business owners who want to provide their customers with excellent types of customer services.

The help desk will not only serve to answer any questions your customers might have about your products or services, it will also allow them to find solutions themselves.

This can also be done by linking articles and guides on the product pages. Take a look at an example from EngageBay’s help desk:

EngageBay Help Desk for customer service
EngageBay Help Desk

Conclusion

You can have all the products in the world but if customers aren’t happy with their experience, they won’t be coming back.

That is why it is important that you focus on providing excellent customer service so that they keep coming back and recommend your business to others.

This means going above and beyond what people expect from a company today by offering outstanding support through multiple channels like phone calls, email or live chat.

It also means being proactive about finding ways to solve problems before they happen instead of waiting until after something goes wrong.

When done right, good customer service can make a huge difference in how much revenue your company makes each month as well as its overall reputation online – both of which are essential when trying to grow a business quickly!

EngageBay is loved for both its products and its customer service by more than 30,000 business owners globally! Take a look at some of our 5-star reviews on SourceForge.

If you’d like EngageBay to improve your customer service, just sign up today at no cost.

Jagruthi Maddela is a brand communications professional and copywriter. She writes for EngageBay about Customer Service best practices, sales and business management hacks, and more.

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