Congratulations. You’ve created what is possibly the greatest mobile application known to humankind. It’s attractive, it’s useful, it’s sticky, it’s fun, and it’s a must-have.
But what happens when a customer runs into a problem? Let’s face it, no matter how well designed and coded your app is, there’s going to come a time when some of your customers are going to need help.
Here are 5 items you should think about to make sure that you’re keeping in touch with your customers and keeping them happy.
1. How will your customers contact you?
Whether you want to use a support email address or a full-blown Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, it’s important to provide a place where your customers can contact you. It’s hard to establish trust if they think you’re hiding from them.
2. What expectations do you want to set on responses?
If you’re a lone developer, it may not be feasible for you to answer customer support inquiries when you need to be coding. But even if it will take you a few days to get back to your customer, set that expectation. An auto-responder or success page that tells the customer their message has been received and the timeframe they can expect an answer will save you multiple inquiries from the same customer.
3. Will you provide instructions or Frequently Asked Questions?
Providing an easily accessible page in your app that provides Frequently Asked Questions or instructions for your app may save you some customer inquiries and also provides a place to which you can point customers easily.
We maintain a complete Knowledge Base and forum at http://onelouder.com/support. This is where customers can browse our Frequently Asked Questions, see release announcements, discuss problems with other customers on our forums, or submit a support request to us directly. We provide a link to this support resource in all of our apps. We are currently using Zendesk, but there are dozens of CRM providers so it’s a good idea to look around and see which one offers the tools and features you need.
4. How will you handle support requests that come through social media?
Make a plan for answering your customers when they contact you on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ or any other social media. Some inquiries may be appropriate to answer in place. Other times you may wish to move the airing of grievances to a more appropriate forum. Using shortened links to your FAQs is a great way to answer questions where space is at a premium.
We constantly monitor our social media pages to make sure that we are reaching as many customers as possible. We put special emphasis on Twitter since @OneLouderApps has nearly 5 million followers.
We search for customers asking questions about our apps from our TweetCaster Web interface and reach out to those customers directly. We also have a dedicated Twitter Handle, @OneLouderCares for handling customer service.
5. What tone do you want to set for your responses?
Whether you are answering inquiries individually or have a support team, setting a consistent tone for communications from you or your team about your app is helpful. You don’t have to send responses that will get “A” grades in a business-writing course. But being professional, helpful, and yes, willing to accept criticism will go a long way toward building a relationship of trust with your customer. Customers whose problems have been successfully solved often become bigger fans than those who have never had a problem with your app at all.
The answers to the above questions may vary greatly depending on your app, your customers, and your own schedule, but giving some thought to what the answers might be for you will help you take the first steps toward implementing the right solution.
What about you? Is this helpful? Let us know in the comments how you handle Customer Support.