As finance, health, and transport executive, Donald Porter, cited in a recent Forbes article, once remarked, “Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.” You and your associates are likely to make the occasional mistake with your clients. While it would, of course, be ideal to eliminate all errors, the most important thing you can do is resolve any problems you create quickly and successfully with stellar customer support. As a matter of fact, with truly superb assistance, you can turn a customer’s annoyance to awe, replacing irritation with a positive impression.
In this twenty-first century of business, running an operation of any size requires the right digital tools. Trying to keep up with customer service and support on pen and paper is not just an outdated concept, it’s becoming absolutely impossible. Even basic email and spreadsheets are quickly becoming obsolete. A cloud-based business software suite like NetSuite provides everything you need to keep your customer support in top shape.
At SCS Cloud, our team of software masters has made it our mission to help enterprises of all sizes succeed with these advanced programs. We’ve seen the incredible results NetSuite can deliver, especially when accompanied by our adept guidance. To that end, we’ve created a series of blogs teaching you how to use all of NetSuite’s versatile features. In the following installment, we’ll explain the power of the customer record support subtab and teach you how to use it to your advantage.
Why Support Matters
In the hectic day-to-day hustle of running a business, it’s easier for customer support to fall by the wayside. After all, these clients have already made a purchase, and they’re probably not that upset, right? You might think you should prioritize sales over everything else to boost your revenues, make marketing your focus, or feverishly design new products so you can reach different demographics. While all of these are important, they should never eclipse treating your existing customers well. When a current customer reaches out with a question, concern, or complaint, it is paramount that you respond efficiently and effectively.
As Entrepreneur magazine explains, supporting your current clients is an excellent business decision that offers great ROI (return on investment): “On average, it costs approximately five times more to attract a new customer to your business than it costs to retain an existing customers.” One surefire way to retain customers is to solve their problems if they come up. If you fail to do so and lose a valuable client, you’re actually costing your company a significant amount. Continuing the comparison between new and current customer marketing costs, Entrepreneur magazine also points out: “the probability of selling to a new customer hovers in the range of 5-20 percent, whereas selling to an existing customer resides in the range of 60-70 percent.” So, once you’ve got customers through the metaphorical door into your business, there are many reasons to do everything you can to keep them coming back.
Furthermore, Entrepreneur magazine argues that high-caliber customer service “improves public persona and strengthens your brand” as well as “[opening] doors for new partnerships,” “[conveying] strong moral values and beliefs in the company’s mission,” and “[elongating] the life of any business.” Fundamentally, your customers are the foundation of your business, so keeping them happy and addressing their concerns contributes significantly to your success.
Suggestions for Better Support
I get it, I get it, you’re thinking, I need to emphasize customer support. But how? While there is no magic formula, there are a few vital steps you can take to make sure your customers get the attention they need. Generally, you should:
- Streamline your customer support operations. Forbes magazine’s article on “The Importance of Customer Service” urges companies to “maintain consistency in customer interactions,” referencing “a 2013 report from the Harvard Business Review [that] suggests that minimizing the number of touchpoints or different contacts involved in a single customer’s interaction with the company improves satisfaction and loyalty.” Without a clear system for customer support, a given inquiry might get bounced around between three or four representatives, with no one truly taking responsibility for the case. If you precisely map out each step of support, it becomes much more difficult for anyone to drop the ball, and, as Forbes notes, “each touchpoint in the customer chain must be held accountable for the ending result of the customer’s entire interaction.”
- Educate your employees on customer support best practices. Putting a brand-new, inexperienced employee on the phone with an exasperated customer is a bit like throwing a toddler into the deep end and expecting him or her to swim. The Houston Chronicle advises companies to “provide customer service training” and “make [it] an ongoing part of your company’s professional development program so that staffers are continually urged to up their games.”
- Be proactive about support cases. While it might not be the most pleasant task to reach out to an upset client, letting the case linger on your dashboard can only make the situation worse. Tackle customers support issues head-on so they cannot fester and become even bigger problems. After all, if you have the right procedures in place, you may be able to easily and quickly diffuse the situation.
- Provide real answers. If you’ve ever had a customer support question, you know how frustrating it can be to talk to a representative who offers no real information or resolution, only vague apologies and corporate jargon. As Inc. magazine recommends, you should “always focus on what you can do as opposed to what you cannot” and “offer a solution to [the customer’s] problem.” Then, once you and the customer have come to an agreement, actually “execute the solution.” Customer support is about truly handling problems, not simply talking down customers.
- Stay in touch with your customers even after you’ve resolved the problem. After you’ve resolved an issue, it might be tempting to consider the case closed. However, Inc. magazine suggests that you “make sure to follow up with [customers] to make sure that they are satisfied with the solution” so you know “you have taken care of their concern.” These are just a few methods you can use to ensure your support stays up to snuff.
Introducing the Support Subtab
NetSuite’s Customer Record Support Subtab is a multifaceted tool you can use to implement all of the above advice. It provides all the relevant information you need about support cases (collected using NetSuite’s single, integrated cloud-based database) and provides a simple, intuitive interface to help you settle customers’ issues.
How to Use This Feature
The Support Subtab is easy to use if you know how to access and navigate it. SCS Cloud’s specialists have put together a simple guide for you below (and you can also check out our NetSuite Orientation: Customer Record – Support Subtab video!):
- Log in to NetSuite.
- Click the “Customer” button on the top blue tab and open a single Customer Record.
- Scroll down to the Subtab section (the lower dark blue bar roughly in the middle of the screen.
- Click the “Support” button in the middle of the tab. This will open the Support Subtab, where you will see secondary subtabs labeled “Cases, Warranty Claim List, Warranty Registration.” You will also see all current support cases for this customer listed below.
- To add a new support case, click the gray button labeled “New Case.” This will prompt a pop-up window to appear.
- Read through the pop-up window. All fields with asterisks are required. The company name will automatically populate, since you are creating the case from a specific Customer Record. (If you’d like to leave the pop-up window for any reason, simply press the white “Cancel” button at the top of the page).
- The “Form” field in the pop-up window allows you to select which type of form to use for this case. Selecting a different form from the drop-down menu will change the format and sections of the pop-up window accordingly.
- In the “Subject” box, write a short summary of the issue the customer is experiencing.
- In the “Profile” dropdown menu, select the correct From address for the customer. This sets the “From” address for the customer (in addition to the template used for the notification that is sent out from the Support Subtab).
- Fill in the Incident Date and Time, specifying on what date and at what time the issue occurred.
- Select the appropriate status of the case (Not Started, In Progress, etc.) from the “Status” drop-down menu.
- If this case needs to be transferred to another NetSuite user for some reason (for example, if the customer experienced an accounting issue and a member of the
accounting department needs to handle it), select the appropriate name from the “Assigned To” drop-down menu.
- Fill out any other required or optional fields, which may vary according to the type of support issue.
- In the “Interactions” Subtab, beneath the blue bar at the bottom of the pop-up window, fill out the message section with more information about the case.
- Navigate to the “General” subtab (to the right of the “Interactions” button on the blue bar) and type into the “Title” box to add any other basic information about the case.
- Navigate to the “Files” subtab (to the right of the “General” button on the blue bar) and select a file from the drop-down menu if resolving this case requires accessing any relevant files stored on NetSuite.
- If this case needs to be escalated (transferred to a higher authority for some reason), click the “Escalate” subtab (to the right of the “Files” button on the blue bar) and select the name of the manager you’d like to escalate this case to from the drop-down menu.
- Once you have filled out all applicable fields, click the blue “Save” button at the bottom of the pop-up window.
At this point, you or another member of your company should be all set to support this customer and rapidly resolve his or her problem.
SCS Cloud is Here to Support You!
Would you like to learn more about the Customer Record Support Subtab? Do you need some of our support using NetSuite in your business? SCS Cloud is available to consult with, provide custom development for, offer implementation assistance to, train, and (you guessed it!) support your company. Contact us today to learn more and schedule your free consultation.