The secret to growing your small business

Sreelesh Pillai Freshdesk

Over the last 12 months, the sales growth of small online retailers, defined as those with revenues of less than $2.5 million, rose 10.6%. As a result, small online retailers now account for 37% of online spending in Australia.

But with rising revenues comes competition.

A recent survey from Ovum found that 90% of consumers in Australia and New Zealand will stop doing business with a company as a result of a bad experience. Meaning now, more than ever, online businesses and eCommerce operators need to provide an exceptional level of customer support.

Thanks to the explosion of business and services via the internet, customer support can now take place across a number of different channels, whether it be email, live chat, telephone or social media. But the real key for small businesses is to be present on all of them.

With limited staff capacity, we can’t expect small businesses to monitor each of these channels individually. Instead, they can leverage multi-channel customer support technology – here are some reasons why:

Customers receive timely responses

Customers are busy. When they reach out to you for support, they want a fast response. In fact, 71% say that valuing their time is the number one thing a company can do to improve their customer support. But having customer support staff on-hand 24/7, across every channel, is impossible. That’s where multi-channel customer support can help.

Multi-channel customer support encompasses a range of communication channels, one of them live chat. This has become a great way for brands to respond to customer queries in real-time, addressing any customer issues, and ultimately helping close the sale. The use of live chat has increased to 43% in Australia, making it the third most popular method of resolving an issue and the fastest way to get a response.

Build your brand’s online profile

Word of mouth is the most powerful communication tool, but the key is to keep it positive. Great customer service makes for great brand advocates who spread positive word of mouth, so keep standards high.

Proactively providing support for customers, whether it be across social media, live chat or email, helps create positive word of mouth. Multi-channel customer support platforms can automatically pick up on situations that require intervention. Keeping on top of all channels, and where possible providing customer support in real-time, helps build your brand’s online profile.

Showing you have online support available will also encourage customers to engage with the brand online, helping foster the growth of your company’s online profile and setting you apart from competitors.

Give employees the time to care for customers

As the first touchpoint with your brand, it’s vital that customer-service employees are empowered to provide the best service possible. But with so many channels available for customers to use, it’s often hard for support employees to keep on top of their agenda, and feelings of frustration can sometimes occur.

By providing an all-in-one platform such as Freshdesk, employees can focus on providing the best customer support. Offering a 360-degree view on customer contact helps support representatives when it comes to providing excellent service, ensuring customers aren’t repeating themselves. With one platform, employees can get back time in their day, and re-focus their efforts on fostering a relationship with the customer. Customer support is after all, a service designed to create and nurture relationships with loyal customers.

Excellent customer support is a key element to creating an amazing experience customers, but it’s important to note that there are other factors such as UX that play a large part in painting the overall experience picture. The benefits for customer support are threefold: customers receive timely service, employees are inspired to care for customers, and as a result your brand’s online profile will continue to grow.

Overall, using multi-channel customer support tools can ensure that all channels are monitored on one platform, which makes for a better experience for both staff and customers. After all, excellent customer service underpinned by highly engaging, valuable relationships is the key to acquiring and retaining loyal customers.

Sreelesh Pillai, General Manager, Freshdesk Australia