Why Customer Support Should Matter to Your Entire Team

“If I Have to Learn Java, You’re Gonna Acquaint Yourself With Customer Support Best Practices” -Your CEO

How many articles exist at this very moment convincing non-tech CEO’s about the importance of learning to code? Quite a few and there’s a reason for that. Learning a little bit about different parts of your business, and why they matter at a holistic level, is important for success. And customer support, my friends, is no different.

Acquainting non-support oriented people with why this aspect of your business matters, and particularly how it affects your business’ bottom line, is simple: Customer support has a direct tie to customer retention, a cost efficient and scalable source of revenue.

Jerry Jao, Founder and CEO of Retention Science, attributes two ingredients to retaining a customer: a quality product and stellar customer support (Retention Science). Now ask yourself, does your organization place customer relations in that high of a regard? If the answer is no, you’re not alone.

Many businesses simply do not take advantage of the obvious opportunities that exist from an emphasis on customer support. According to a 2015 Survey by Dimension Data, 80% of customer call centers admit that their customer support won’t meet the needs of their business within the next year (Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report). Moreover, Lee Resources reports that 80% of companies surveyed felt that they deliver “superior” support while only 8% of their customers agreed (Helpscout).

Whether it’s an issue of resource allocation or employee capacity, not giving customer support proper priority and attention can create irreparable damage to a brand’s reputation. On average, it takes 12 positive experiences with a business to make up for one unresolved or otherwise negative experience(Help Scout). And unfortunately, news of a poor support experience reaches twice as many ears as that of a positive one (White House Office of Consumer Affairs). Often times, customers are typically more likely to share negative experiences as opposed to positive ones.

Whether you’re an early stage startup or an enterprise company, placing an emphasis on this aspect of your business can and will pay off in dividends. From a pricing standpoint, making customer retention a benchmark for your support efforts is smart. The price of gaining a new customer is five times the cost of keeping a current one (Shopify). Along with efficiency, customer retention also has the potential to provide your business with a scalable source of revenue. Gartner Co. reports that on average, 80% of a company’s future earnings will come from just 20% of a company’s current customer base (CMO.com). Additionally, increasing your company’s customer retention numbers by only five percent has the ability to up your profits anywhere from 25% to 95% (Bain & Co.). The stakes become even higher for SaaS companies, whose lifeblood comes from a subscription-based business model, propelled by a commitment from monthly or annual customer contracts.

So while it’s not essential for all employees to man your company’s Zendesk or Desk accounts, it is important for them to understand the importance of customer support and how it relates to the overall success of a business.