By Lauren Fenthum
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Many companies believe in the theory that customer service is the heart of the business. Using support-driven growth, this theory becomes true. To many, the idea of “support-driven growth” may just seem like another name for that of customer success, or even that of filtering prospects to the sales team, however, it is much more than that. Support-driven growth is a new way of doing business, and can be used as a benefit to customer-centric companies- here’s how:
Support- driven growth is a business approach aimed at shifting the customer support channel from cost centre to critical revenue driver. This specific approach reflects a shift where customer-centric companies leverage their support teams towards revenue generating activates. This creates a proactive reaction and thus going beyond that of just "support". For the sales department, this means adopting a "concierge" level of support that takes on the responsibility of making their customers successful through their lifetime with the product. From the perspective of the product, this approach means leaning on support to be the voice for prospective clients and identifying what their "deal breaker" is. This can help you understand what your customer's needs are and allow your customer support teams to focus on more meaningful work.
The difference between that of support and support-driven growth is that obvious. Growth. In traditional terms, support looks to answer questions thoroughly, but quickly and growth looks to help. Growth encourages the relationship and encourages customers to invest and grow. To do this, adapt the “yes, and…” mentality. This is the ultimate up-selling tool, this comes across as a natural and non-intrusive way of selling to your clients and giving them the help they didn't know they needed. For example, a trial customer asks about email integration, instead of simply replying with a link try to reply with; "yes, and I hear that you have just started your trial and see you haven't signed up for our newsletter, you can sign up to receive it here." This leads with a help driven tactic and will leave the customer feeling more satisfied doing business with you.
Customers enjoy the feeling of a more natural relationship and less of a generic composed one. Thus the more natural opportunities you have to engage with a customer, the more likely they are to buy from you. By using the proactive reaction, you can set up notifications to alert your team when there is an opportunity to reach out to a potential client. For example, when you receive a notification that a client hasn’t set up their mail forwarder yet, look up their current email domain and send them an email, offering directions and help on how to set this service up.
The support-driven growth model does require more from the support team because it requires members to know the product inside and out. They need to be ready to be able to answer questions from incoming clients and compare product offerings. This elevation can be used as a revenue-generating business driver and can work well in any customer-centric organization.