I am trying to get to grips with understanding how ‘help and support’ fits in with the whole customer retention equation: customer buys phone and then what? Well, hopefully, if you’re me you’ll have a problem sooner rather than later.

We tend to think of customer retention in terms of the billing experience, informing you about new tariffs if you are due for an upgrade, letting you know about new handsets, surveys, competitions etc. But very little to do with the whole help side of things. 

Part of the problem is how we view the whole concept of ‘help’. We tend to see ‘help’ as a reactive, emotionless and fairly functional encounter operating outside of the whole customer retention toolkit. But how often can and do these encounters end negatively?

My premise is that we should be able to turn ‘help’ around. There is no reason why it can’t be a proactive, engaging and positive experience, albeit a ‘micro-interaction’ as David Armano puts it, which if done well, builds up a customer’s bank of emotional goodwill in a company. However, the whole idea of ‘help’ needs to be introduced to the customer much earlier in the piece than is usually done.

‘Help’ and by extension the idea of the ‘problem that needs resolving’ is not something that suddenly happens or becomes available only once a customer has purchased a mobile phone. What do we do to manage a customer’s expectations about the post purchase experience?