Good customer service is all about taking care of the needs of your customer during the entire sales cycle: both pre and post purchase. Your business can only thrive if you take proper care of your customers. You must consider customer service as an important KPI because you don’t want to lose your existing customers as well as making sure that the present sales funnel that you use doesn’t forget the issues of the existing customers at any point.
Importance of customer service:
All of the above points are important, but here is something extra special that you need to concentrate on. If all of your customers are in the Bay area and you are located in Utah, does it make sense to potential customers from the Bay area to invest their money on you or trust you with their business? No. It is imperative that you have a local presence or at least be able to provide customer support that is local.
What are the advantages of a local based customer support?
Let’s say you are a smartphone company whose products sell in many countries around the world and you have decided to branch into a new country. You have put in a full-blown marketing effort for entering the country hoping that you will smell success. But there is a concern that most of your customers have which you didn’t account for. The customers are thinking-“What will I do if my smartphone encounters some trouble. Is there a place in my country where they give me after sales-service” Since you have not set up local customer support, people will be apprehensive about buying your brand even though it has everything that many of them expect in a smartphone. You miss out on huge revenues and thousands of customers just because you failed to provide local customer support.
Here are some of the reasons why your business needs local based customer support:
Customers will understand that you are here to add value:
When you have taken the pains to set up a local customer support service, the customers know that you value their time and appreciate them as people who trusted to invest in you. It will be easy for you to up-sell and cross-sell as customers know that there is a physical place where they can come and get their products serviced.
You can get immediate feedback:
When customers know that there is a place for them to air their grievances, they will be prone to giving you feedback. You can use this feedback to improve your service and product. This is good to improve your customer service aspects also. The better your service, customers won’t hesitate to stick with your brand.
It builds brand awareness:
When there are a lot of avenues in a particular city/country and there are billboards and advertisements about your brand, people will start recognizing your brand. This will increase your word-of-mouth advertising, especially when you are giving good service on top of this. As more and more people talk about you, they will remember your brand and will recommend it to their friends.
It attracts future customers:
There was a time when business was about closing a customer, there was hardly any after-sales support. This has changed over the last few years as customers know and understand that they need to be treated properly. Give your customers a better experience and service that they cannot expect from your competitor and you are golden.
Here are some of the ways you can provide local based customer support:
Meeting them in-person and conducting town halls with customers:
If your customers want to meet your management team, you can organize town halls where they can come which will include the company’s management team. You can give them the opportunity to ask you questions which can be answered by the relevant company personnel. Remember that this would be a kick-ass opportunity for a marketing blitz as well, apart from the fact that your customers would love such a method of reaching out to you.
Local based virtual phone number:
Why do you need a virtual phone number? If you have a business that is either in a different part of the world or if you don’t need a physical office and travel a lot but you always want to be available for your customer, then it is imperative that you get a local based virtual phone number. There are many advantages with respect to using a virtual number. Probably one of the best things is that you can integrate with any of your CRMs, PBX systems and the process to set such a system up is also pretty easy and not time-consuming at all.
You can keep track of the customers who call you and see their history with your company making it easier to give brilliant customer service. You can even record calls to listen to conversations made earlier with your customer to see the kind of service you give. There is a lot of information like Department, Name, Country, Reason for call, Call Date, Number of minutes spoken, how was the previous issue solved, the number of times a particular complaint has been registered, see the status of incoming and outgoing calls separately, see if follow-up calls have been made as promised, etc, that you can glean from a particular customer at any point of time as all of this has been registered on the virtual phone number dashboard.
Even if you are thousands of miles away from your customer, it will look as if you are present locally for them. This is one of the most important advantages of getting a local based virtual number.
There are many other ways using which you can provide local based customer support, but these two methods that have been mentioned are a standout and completely different when you want to provide local support to your customers.