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Customer support as a part of marketing strategy
Imagine a room full of your customers. Each of them is facing some issue. The first one tries to find out what to do next. The second customer can't figure out how to calculate service costs. The third one is fuming, but it's hard to realize what exactly went wrong because of their yelling...
Usually, there are a couple of strategies that companies follow in such circumstances:
  • handing off customers to outsourcing;
  • delegating troubleshooting to low-skilled employees whose answers are mostly stereotyped and don't help much;
  • going together with the customer through each obstacle to help them deal with their issues.

Although it is quite obvious what strategy is the most effective one, most companies prefer the easy way. Their way of thinking is pretty clear: we have a good product that does its job, what else?

The thing is that any idea can be copied and replicated. So what's the real value of your product then? Let's take a look at the most ancient types of businesses — restaurant one — to understand the point. A frying pan costs 45 dollars, but how much does a person who knows how to fry steaks on it cost?.. Accounting estimates ≠ intellectual capital.

Not so long ago you could've rented a place, hire employees and teach them how to earn you money. But the seller's market is over, the era of the buyer has come. Now price competition is available only to large companies, while the rest of the price wars lead to bankruptcy. In the current conditions, a transition from cost management to quality management is needed — it is quality that is the key value of the modern business.
Customer Service is a competitive advantage
With value competition, support service is as much a feature of your product as it is a cool feature you recently added. It is something that helps to distinguish you from other players in the market.

It's not hard to copy someone's app idea — no harder than sewing a fake batch of Louis Vuitton suitcases anyway. Copying service is much more difficult. When customers know they'll get a lifetime bag warranty or fast, smart support service, they'll choose you over a competitor.
But it costs money!
For sure, quality customer support will cost you money. Same as servers, development, design, accounting and legal services. Running a business always costs money!

The truth is, keeping existing customers is up to 10 times cheaper than bringing in new ones. If a company outsources customer support or perceives it as a second-rate department, it will personally encourage customers to abandon their services. Considering how long and tenaciously your customers were recruited, it's safe to say that such saving on customers is disastrous.

When you're taking your support team as one of the key departments of the company, you will spend some time hiring the right people and training them. For instance, in Deskie, it takes from 6 to 12 months for a new supporter to start answering questions of medium complexity. Because answering “so-so” is not an option. This is a fundamentally different approach where you have more responsibility for how you help and communicate with your customers.

Nowadays it's not only about eating burgers. Even when it comes from a friendly waiter, it meets just the minimum of your expectations. The trend is eating burgers with black gloves, and despite the difference in price from Mcdonald's by 3-4 times, queues line up for places where you can do so. Offer your customers not only a "delicious" product but also a quality service and they will pay for your work.
Word of the mouth
The support service is the face of the company, and based on the opinion customers form about it, the opinion about the whole company is made. You can always feel the lack of professionalism. If you don't help your customers, ignore their requests, and take a long time to answer their questions, it's inevitable that you will eventually lose them. 

Everything that the company provides can be called marketing to some extent, and customer support is no exception. Satisfied customers are promoters: if they like the service, they tell their friends and acquaintances about it, and this is another source of income but from the side of the department, which is always associated with expenses.

Hire only qualified candidates in your support team. Take a thorough approach to the teaching process. Constantly upgrade their skills (training and reading relevant literature) and do not forget to motivate. The investment will definitely pay off.