Earning a steady flow of new customers is an essential part of growing a successful business. It’s how you increase your sales, revenue, and all of the other metrics that matter.
But it’s not always easy.
Today’s consumers have more options than ever for all of their needs, and it can be challenging to stand out. That’s why a large number of businesses are turning to growth hacking strategies to reach their goals. And while this is often considered a task that falls solely to marketing teams, it doesn’t have to be.
Your customer support team can also play a role in this process and help you maximize your ability to grow.
What is Growth Hacking?
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, “growth hacking” refers to any creative strategy that speeds up the process of customer acquisition.
In most cases, these strategies work because they circumvent standard advertising strategies and help businesses increase their reach with a relatively low monetary investment.
One of the most well-known examples of this is from Airbnb. Before the company had the large user base it does today, it sent automated emails to hosts, encouraging them to share their listings to Craigslist.
If a host clicked the link in this email, all of the details from their Airbnb listing would be added to Craigslist — giving them access to a much larger user base. But if a user were interested in one of these rentals, they’d need to visit Airbnb’s site and create an account.
As a result, the company was able to help their users reach more potential guests while earning more users in the process.
5 Ways to Use Customer Support to Grow Your Business
Contrary to what you may have heard, growth hacking is not just a marketer’s job. These are 5 ways in which you can growth hack your business — and make your customer support team part of the process.
1. Gauge Customer Happiness
Happy customers are an essential part of growing a business.
If a user is satisfied with your product or service, they’ll be much more likely to recommend your company to their peers — and help you earn new users without spending an additional cent on marketing.
This means it’s in your best interest to keep an eye on customers’ general sentiment towards your brand. One of the best ways to do this is to use simple Net Promoter Score surveys to see where you stand.
This is a particularly helpful measurement for growth because it doesn’t just ask users how much they like your brand — it asks how likely they are to recommend it to others. Having your customer support team ask this simple question is an easy way to gauge your potential to earn new users through word-of-mouth.
And if your score is lower than you’d like, you can use NPS to set concrete goals for improvement.
2. Improve Your Retention Rates
It’s impossible to grow if you’re consistently losing customers. This means that a high retention rate is essential for growth. That’s especially true when you consider the potential for upsells. While your chances of selling to a new customer are only 5-20%, that percentage jumps to 60-70% for existing customers.
So as you establish a strong user base, you can build on your revenue by offering helpful upgrades and advanced plans. And your support team is an essential part of establishing that base.
Considering that 70% of consumers say they’ve stopped working with a company because of inadequate support, it’s essential you provide the level of support your customers want. Answer their questions, help them use your product with maximum efficiency, and enable them to get the most out of their investment with your business.
When you reach these goals, you’ll be able to reduce your churn rate and grow your business at a faster rate.
3. Have Conversations with Your Customers
Some companies make the mistake of believing that their customer support team’s only purpose is to address problems and concerns. And while these are important goals, strong customer service can do much more than fix problems.
In fact, companies that prioritize customer support are more likely to see revenue growth than those that do not. So as you build your support team, encourage them to take the time to have conversations with your customers.
The more familiar you are with your users’ needs, issues, and goals, the better you’ll become at creating products that meet them — and your customer support team is an essential part of that process.
4. Send Surveys, Take the Responses Seriously
While direct conversations with customers are one of the best ways to gain in-depth insight into what your customers want, they aren’t the only way to get helpful feedback. Your customer support team can also encourage users to fill out surveys after their interactions.
Fortunately, your surveys don’t have to be complicated to provide valuable insight. While you may think you should be asking dozens of questions about every aspect of the customer experience, that’s often not the most effective approach.
Just think about it from the perspective of a user. If one company sent you a survey with 30 questions, and another sent you a brief, 2-question form, which would you be more likely to answer?
It’s an easy choice.
So as you develop your surveys, simplify the process by asking one or two questions that will aid you in making decisions about your product, like which new features they’d most (and least) like to see.
Then, you can use the responses to make clear, informed decisions about your product — instead of attempting to draw conclusions from complex data sets that don’t ultimately tell you much about what your customers want.
5. Use Common Enquiries to Develop Resources
Answering the same basic questions about your products or services can quickly become tedious for any customer support team. And while having templated responses can speed up the process, you can also use these inquiries to develop resources for your customers.
For example, Adobe’s Photoshop user guide provides answers to virtually every question a user could have on navigating the product. This way, their customers can easily find the information they need without waiting for a customer service agent.
Today, this is a common-enough approach that many consumers now know to look for answers to their questions on a company’s site before reaching out to their support team. In fact, 75% of people consider a self-service knowledge base a convenient way to resolve an issue.
When you create these types of resources, you enable your existing customers to more efficiently get the information they want. So if you don’t yet have a knowledge base on your site, creating one can help your support team use their time more efficiently.
And your customer-facing employees likely already know exactly which questions and issues to address.
Start with the questions they hear the most often, and you could drastically cut down on the number of times they answer those same few questions — giving them more time to focus on more impactful tasks, like speaking with prospective customers.