Of all of 2021’s business trends, one stands out: outstanding customer service will be the most important driver of your company’s growth. Being up to date with customer service tools and processes can be a gamechanger for any business.
If you are running a subscription-based business, customer service needs to be top of your list. It’s the only way to ensure subscriptions are being renewed, and your business continues to grow.
Above all — prepare for change
The past twelve to 15 months have been challenging for any business. For some companies, this challenge has been faster-than-expected growth. Subscription-based companies are among those.
For years now, customer experience (CX) has been a buzzword, especially within the field of e-commerce. If you have little chance to interact with your clients face-to-face, it’s important to maximize those opportunities — a lesson learned by many businesses during lockdowns.
In fact, the pandemic has accelerated a change in how we view customer service and what it means to deliver an outstanding customer experience. Subscription-based businesses have been among the winners of the economic changes over the past year or so. However, whilst circumstances have helped those businesses grow, retaining their newly won customers will take a steady effort.
The goal — encouraging repeat purchases
The success of subscription businesses depends on repeat customers. Whether your customers are paying monthly, quarterly or annually, their initial subscription is only one side of the medal. What your business really needs, is for them to renew again and again. This will allow your business to grow long term. So, how do you create repeat customers?
It’s important to understand that your product needs to do the heavy lifting. Customers subscribe because they receive tangible benefits, not simply because you are offering something via subscription. Assuming your product or experience is amazing, it now needs to be backed up with equally outstanding customer service.
Regular, personalized contact
The good news is that many subscription-based products and services allow you to get in touch with your customers several times.
If your customers are subscribing to regular deliveries, each of those deliveries is an opportunity to make them feel special. How about including a note that is addressed to the subscriber? If your subscription business is based on something less tangible, for example access to a software, every login is an opportunity to convince your customers to stay with you.
Regular customer contact allows you to gauge engagement. You can see who replies to offers, completes surveys or clicks on links. Highly engaged customers are likely to retain their subscription as they feel it is of value to them. If engagement drops, you have an early indicator that something needs to change.
Most of us no longer live 9 to 5 lifestyles. Working from home or communicating with people in different time zones has brought about big changes to how we run our lives. To deliver great customer service for a subscription-based business, you need to deliver customer service around the clock.
This does not mean that you can no longer leave your laptop behind and head to the beach. After all, not many subscription services deal with life-or-death situations or products. Instead, think about how you make support available without being personally available.
A few years ago, a page on your website dedicated to a static list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) would possibly have been enough. Today, you can do better than that with little effort by using a chatbot. Static FAQs remain a great starting point. However, allowing your customers to type a question is the start of something resembling a conversation.
Naturally, there will be questions that are complex enough to require personal contact. However, filtering out those that don’t require this level of service will free up your team’s time considerably. This is a simple way to offer customer service around the clock.
Omnichannel support — be where your customers are
Throughout any given day, most people will use a number of different devices to access services or find out more about products. Research suggests that many purchases start on one device and are completed on another.
As a consequence, your business needs to be well-presented and available in different places. For most subscription-based businesses this includes a responsive website that is mobile- and tablet-friendly, a presence on various social media channels, and some degree of real-time voice or video support.
Streamlining the customer experience means not only being available on more than one channel. More importantly, you can improve your customer service by presenting information in a way that appears seamless across different devices.
Subscription-based businesses have been among the winners for economic growth recently. This trend is likely to continue as more consumers are taking advantage of convenient services. The market may look crowded now. However, in the long-term those businesses with excellent customer service will stand out from the pack and be clearly recognizable