How much does customer support affect sales? Can you quantify it?
Based upon his access to global companies, Peter Kriss reports in the Harvard Business Review that customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more than those who had the poorest past experiences. For a subscription business, retention of its customers is the primary interest. A customer who gave the highest score on customer experience is likely to remain a subscriber for another six years. A subscriber giving the lowest score is likely to remain a subscriber for just over 12 months.
We at RDK Partners experienced the effectiveness of quality customer service. In 2016 our client received the Innovation Award at CES, the world's largest consumer electronics show. The company ran a successful Indiegogo campaign in 2015. Its Indiegogo backers grew unhappy, however, when delivery of the product was delayed more than a year despite the company’s repeated promises. Things became even worse as the once well-financed startup was in desperate need of additional funding. The investors decided to wait and monitor the reviews before investing. Company products were already being shipped so the investors didn’t want to take risks.
People at RDK Partners rolled up their sleeves and personally called over 250 of the Indiegogo backers. Our messages were: Apology (“Sorry for making you wait so long”); Gratitude (“We were able to start this journey only because you have been with us from the very beginning”), Focus on Growth (“We won big awards, received a huge influx of capital, and became a global company operating out of Asia, California and New York”); Request (“Please leave good reviews if you really like the product because the investors would invest only if they see strong reviews”); and Personal Bond (“Call me or our President of U.S. Operations should you have any questions or suggestions”).
Indiegogo backers were deeply moved (“I’ve been supporting crowdfunding campaigns for years, but this is the first time I received a call from the company I backed”); cheering (“I run a construction company. No project is completed on time, so keep your chin up”); and even proposing (“I teach design courses at a college. Next time we should work together - you guys and our student designers”).
Indiegogo backers and customers left positive reviews and posted their photos. Soon the investors decided to fund. The company was able to avoid a critical money shortage. Our proactive approach taught us an important lesson: Quality customer support is a revenue generating tool to build a loyal customer base as well as a strong foundation for raising capital.