egardless of which industry you operate in, customers will remain your greatest asset.
If you observe successful brands around you, the one thing in common is that all their strategies for products & services are customer-oriented.
In today’s digital world, not only your products run the business but it’s also your customer service. Having said that, you should definitely consider establishing a strong customer service support that’ll result in happy & satisfied customers.
“Customer service is the new marketing, it’s what differentiates one business from another.” - Jay Baer
The meaning of customer service is the support you offer to your customers. So, to provide well-defined customer support, all you need is the customer support funnel strategy.
In this article, we’ll talk about everything related to the customer support funnel starting from what it is to its creation and optimization.
So, get ready to create and optimize your customer support funnel!
What is Customer Support Funnel?
Customer Support Funnel is basically a process that allows you to identify the number of customers who stayed with your brand after their first purchase.
If you build a customer support funnel you will be able to increase customer growth and lead conversion by adding value to the customer’s journey with your brand.
It will help you create a healthy, profitable, and long-term relationship with your customers.
Now that you have an idea about the customer support funnel, let’s have a look at the reasons behind building the customer support funnel and optimizing it.
5 Reasons Why you Should Build & Optimize Customer Support Funnel
The meaning of customer service is the assistance you provide customers with when they start their journey with your brand.
According to reports, 89% of consumers are more likely to repurchase after a positive customer experience.
A customer support funnel structures your customer support process. Besides, there are several other reasons why building and improving the customer support funnel is important.
Let’s shed some light on these reasons here:
1. Increases Customer Retention
Did you know that 65% of a brand’s business comes from existing customers?
So, customer retention is important to create a base of existing customers.
It’s not only the product but also the customer service that you offer that makes a customer stay with the brand.
So, what can you do to retain customers?
- Provide proactive support- Prevent issues from occurring. You can do this by anticipating the customer’s issue and addressing it even before they run into it.
- Address the customer queries faster- Customers love instant responses. Don’t make them wait. When customers are waiting for you to respond to their queries, they are already experiencing poor customer support.
- Ask for customer feedback- company-client relationships need nurturing and you can do that by asking for valuable customer feedback. Customer feedback brings in new customers and this is a never-ending loop.
For example, Amazon provides seamless pre-and post-sale customer support services. After a week or so of completing the purchase process, the customer receives requests to share their feedback. These feedbacks are then considered by the customer support executives for further improvement.
2. Boosts Brand Loyalty
A well-defined customer support funnel results in high customer expectations in the long run. It develops a sense of trust and reliability among customers that definitely works for the brand image.
Brand loyalty is an asset. All you can do to earn it is by winning the trust of customers and providing them with more-than-satisfactory customer support. The more quickly you conquer the customer's mind, the higher the chances for success.
Here are few tips for you to build a strong brand image:
- Come up with a strategic customer support plan and create a comfortable environment for customers.
- Provide seamless experience by integration of technologies like Conversational AI. Examples of Conversational AI include live chats, WhatsApp for Business, etc. Use these platforms and technologies to give customers a hassle-free buying journey.
- Make sure to ease the process of communication. Provide signposts of your contact across multiple channels.
- Integrate AI chatbots for quick resolving of queries. Tools like live chats allow instantaneous messaging from both ends. This boosts the customer’s confidence in the brand.
3. Creates Influencer Network
Have you heard of Influencer marketing? It’s quite the buzzword now.
Bloggers and influencers play a decisive role in the marketing campaigns of brands. Customers before making a purchase decision lookout for reliable sources where they can get brand/ product reviews.
Now, using multiple channels simultaneously, the customer support teams attempt to offer an amazing experience to customers.
The mix of channels usually includes AI chatbots, live chats, phone calls, help desk, social media, etc. With this mix of channels, brands can offer quick replies and solutions to customers.
What happens is, customers, become influencers as they add reviews about your brand and that attracts other customers.
This cycle continues until there’s a spread of awareness about the brand’s services. Voila! You create a network of influencers who impact the decisions of your target audience.
4. Reduces Acquisition Cost
With a well-developed customer support funnel, you can cut down on customer acquisition costs.
Wait, but how?
If you have a strategic customer support funnel you will add value to the experience of customers. A positive experience will produce positive feedback and as a result, new customers will be attracted.
Such word-of-mouth publicity is the most trusted form of advertising. It helps in targeting new audiences without you incurring any additional cost.
5. Boosts Upselling
Good customer support can help you identify existing upsell opportunities. What you need to do is assess the customer’s journey and find out why or why not a customer will be inclined towards purchasing a product during a support process.
With the right information and adequate customer support, brands can tap deeper into a market without making extra efforts.
Simply design a proper customer support funnel and make necessary services available to customers. Also, you can introduce options that go well with the customer purchase. This will increase the cart value in real-time.
3 Important Metrics to Measure Customer Support Funnel
Simply enhancing your customer support will not help if you do not know the important metrics that can indicate your growth. Right?
To know the extent of your improvement, you need to track the customer support funnel and understand how well you have progressed. Only then you’ll be able to improve further and offer a seamless customer experience.
Here are the top 3 significant metrics that you need to measure your customer support funnel.
1. Customer Satisfaction Rate (CSR)
CSR will enable you to understand if customers are satisfied with the support that you’re offering at different stages of the customer support funnel. You can interact with your customers to know if the information provided helps them to resolve their queries or not. This way you will be able to understand the aspects that need further work to optimize the customer support funnel as a whole.
2. Response Time
Response time is an important aspect in making or breaking a customer's experience with your brand. Hence, you got to take care of this metric.
Check-in with your customer support executive/ operators to know if they are offering customers timely responses. Since customer satisfaction is a lot about getting instant responses, it’s essential to make sure that customers get prompt responses from you.
3. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS will enable you to know if your customers are loyal to the brand after the sales and the received customer support services or not. NPS gives you an idea about whether or not a customer will stick to the brand in the long run.
So, with this insight, you can amp up your strategies to increase customer loyalty.
Besides the top 3 metrics, there are a few others that you can use to track your customer support funnel.
- Customer Effort Score (CES): CES is a survey that can help you measure the ease of service experienced by customers.
- Churn Rate: Measuring the attrition rate will also help you track your customer support funnel.
- Resolution time: Check out the time taken by your customer support team to resolve an issue.
- Issue backlog: Make sure that no customer issues await resolution. Clear backlog indicates efficient customer support.
4 Stages of Customer Support Funnel
Once you have successfully converted a prospect into a customer, your main work is to deliver what you have promised. This is the very aim of onboarding.
You need to work on the onboarding process to make sure that you meet or exceed customer’s expectations. Focus on delivering the best of services and keep things transparent during your interactions.
You can use one- on- one interaction for helping your customers understand the product/service better. Other than this, there are few common customer touchpoints in the onboarding stage:
- Self-service/ Documentation
- Phone calls
- Live chat
2. Post-Sales Customer Support
Support is an ongoing process and it obviously does not stop once you have completed the sale.
In the post-sales stage, when customers are ready to use your product or service for their business, they do require your assistance. This is where guides, instruction manuals, getting started videos, or screen sharing sessions come in handy.
At this stage, all you need to do is ensure that the support team makes the resources available to customers.
For example, you can embed getting started videos or provide informative articles to use your product/service. Also, you can use live chats to offer assistance to customers post-sales.
PS: For this stage, keep all your customer touchpoints open and active- from live chats to call support. Ensure no queries raised by customers go unanswered.
Retention and post-sales support are different. Or you can say that retention is an extension of the post-sales support.
This stage is all about providing customers with information about your product or service. Like benefits of using your product/ service, offering assistance with new product launches or upgrades in the existing products.
The main aim at this stage is to retain customers and reduce the churn rate. Hence, you need to provide support even long after the completion of the sale, like a week, month or even a year.
Since retention involves providing long term support, you can activate the following customer touchpoints at this stage:
- User groups
- Social media platforms
- Product documentation
- Periodical success reviews
The last stage of the customer support funnel is advocacy and, in this stage, you get to know how satisfied your customers are with your product and service.
Customer success teams, in this stage, are involved with customers to know their level of satisfaction and their experiences with the product or service. These teams are required to monitor customer’s satisfaction and create strategies to work towards betterment.
In this stage, you can bring your customers together and let them share how much they loved your product and service. For this, you can use platforms like:
- User conferences
- Community Forums
- Social Media
- Testimonials and
- Virtual Meetups
Through these platforms, your customers can get connected together and they can share the best of their practices and experiences with the rest.
How to Create a Customer Support Funnel?
Now that we know what a customer support funnel is and the reasons to create one, we should also know the methods that can help in building a customer support funnel.
So, where do we start from?
To build a well-defined and strong customer support funnel, you’ll need the best of methods that resonate well with your brand. Here, we have covered the top ways that can assist you to build your customer support funnel.
1. Provide Self-Service
According to reports, 67% of the consumers prefer self-service over talking to customer service agents and 91% of customers prefer using an online knowledge base.
So, help your customers help themselves.
Create articles, blog posts, or FAQs that can help your customers at each stage of the customer support funnel.
You can use videos, establish a help centre on your website landing page and make these tools accessible for customers. In the post-sales stage, these resources will be of great help.
2. Offer Instant Support
With live chats, you can provide instant support to customers.
In this digital era, Conversational AI like live chats has become significant to enhance customer support.
Your aim behind providing live chat support on the landing page of your website would be to:
- Offer instant responses,
- Engage customers,
- Help resolve their standard queries and
- Provide proactive assistance
Live chat is an amazing tool that can be used throughout all stages of the customer support funnel. However, make sure you place the live chat on pages that can assist customers and resolve their queries in real-time. For example:
- Establish it on the landing page and pages that have more sales potential
- Place it on help center articles to ensure instant responses to additional questions
- Additionally, you can place it on 404 error pages to help customers return to the home page or other relevant pages
3. Add Both Email & Call Support
According to Statista, 39% of customers depend on phone calls for resolving their queries. While, a study by Forrester, suggests that 54% of customers have used email support in 2019.
So, make both email and call support available for customers.
There are several customers who find it easier to get their queries resolved via email. So, make sure you don’t keep your customers waiting for a response.
Also, you can use emails to take customer feedback, share new launches, promo codes, discount offers, etc.
As for phone calls, there are customers, especially the aged population, who prefer interacting over calls than talking to live agents via chat.
So, that indicates that you should retain phone call support along with emails to ensure you do not miss out on any customer during the post-sales phase.
4. Build Customer Loyalty programs
You might be thinking about how loyalty programs can be a part of the customer support funnel.
Well, using customer loyalty programs can be important in the post-sales stage. You can reward the existing customers who have been sticking to your brand for a long.
Through a well-designed customer loyalty program, you can offer multiple services to customers, like:
- On-site support
- Customised customer service
- 1 or 2 years of free services for troubleshooting
Lenovo offers multiple special customer services like one window access for hardware and software issues, highly trained professionals and expert technicians, comprehensive box-to-boot support over the phone, etc. under the Lenovo PremiumCare program.
Besides, you can give customers under loyalty programs additional discounts as well.
Ways to Optimize Your Customer Support Funnel
There are two most important considerations when it comes to optimizing your customer support funnel.
1. Be Accessible
If you aren’t accessible, there’s no point in building a customer support funnel. Make sure you have a contact us page that details every possible form of contact. Also, provide customers with ample signposts of contact throughout different channels like social media posts, emails, websites, and other touchpoints.
2. Be Consistent
Make sure you offer consistent instant support services to customers. It is likely that there will be multiple systems to keep you connected with your customers. Integration of these systems will help in improving your support team’s communication as well as will enhance the overall experience of customers.
Also, use AI chatbots for customer engagement & drive retention. You can use them across different channels & apps like brand websites, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp for business etc.
Know About Conversational Support Funnel
Embrace the idea of a conversational support funnel. It is a more refined process of the customer support funnel. It is through a conversational support funnel that you can provide customers with more personalized and proactive support.
The main components of a conversational customer support funnel are:
- Human Support: Resolve complex issues with human interactions. Use emails, phone calls, or live chat agents
- Self-service Support: Create a self-service portal. Embed videos, provide FAQs blogs or AI chatbots.
- Proactive Support: Anticipate the issues and prevent them from occurring. Ensure providing solutions to customers even before they encounter the issue.
Using these measures, you can build efficient conversational customer support for your brand.
Build Your Customer Support Funnel with Konverse
Building and optimizing a customer support funnel is easy if you have the right tools and a well-defined plan.
So, if you’re looking for a reliable chatbot website (which you will as an AI chatbot is vital for a customer support funnel), we recommend the Konverse platform.
Our chatbots can not only keep the conversation flowing but can also help you collect customer feedback via multiple channels and 50+ apps.
So, why wait?! Schedule a demo soon!