Overlooking the importance of exceptional customer service is a grave mistake to make in the business world. It takes many good experiences to earn the trust of a consumer.
When consumers trust a brand, they aren’t scared to recommend it, share information on it, and publicly sing the praises of the brand’s products. Unfortunately, it takes just one bad experience for consumers to double down on efforts and quickly spread the word of the bad service they have received.
Let’s be realistic – when it comes to reputation, bad news spreads far quicker than good news and as such, investing in good customer service should be one of the very first things you do, before you open your doors for business.
Big business brands the world over are realising just how much of an impact an unhappy Glassdoor, Yelp, or Hello Peter review can have. As a result, they are starting to ensure that their customer service levels are impeccable. Yes, investing in customer service excellence will cost you, but it’s something that completely warrants applications for affordable SME loans or business advances.
It’s really about all the little things that a company does for its customers that end up being really big things. Your job is to ensure that before they ask for it, customer service already provides it. Sounds daunting right? It doesn’t have to be – all you need to do is strategically plan your customer service efforts and policies.
3 Reasons & Ways Good Customer Services are Top Priority #1
Below I share why I feel good customer service is a worthy investment that will truly put your business on the map.
- A Customer Who Feels Looked-After Spreads the Word
Think about the grocery store that offers priority parking for expectant mothers and moms with little kids. Think about the company that apologises for a poor quality product experience with a free gift or a discount. Think about the restaurant that has a host that welcomes diners in and making sure they get the table/seat that suits their mood and preferences just right. These are the type of businesses that are earning the approval of the customer. And these days, customers are far more demanding and expectant than they have ever been.
By investing in your customer service skills and having innovative customer care policies in place, you will be impressing customers. Moms will tell other moms or pregnant friends about the convenient parking outside a particular store. People who bought a bad cuppa on the way to work will tell their friends about the 3 free coffees they have available to them that week. Happy fine diners will tell their friends about their welcoming host who ensured they got the “perfect spot” for celebrating their anniversary together. And that’s how it goes!
- Good Online Customer Service Gives you a Good Name
Online customer service is something that is of paramount importance in the digital age we currently live in. When a consumer posts a complaint online – whether on their own social media page, a review website, or your social media pages – it needs to be dealt with promptly. You need trained individuals to keep a close eye on what is being said about your business and brand so that prompt, appropriate responses can be made, and the right action taken. This isn’t always easy, especially if you are personally busy with other pressing business matters. This is why you need a skilled brand ambassador to handle any online onslaught your business might face.
Handle complaints carefully. Never delete negative feedback. Rather show consumers that you are willing to tackle matters head on and do what is needed to keep the customer happy. You might feel like you are under fire sometimes, but by handling online complaints and negative reviews meticulously and publicly, your business brand will very soon get a good name for itself. The customer will start to trust you.
- Customer Retention is Cheaper Than New Customer Acquisition
Did you know that it costs your business around 25% less to keep a customer than it does to find a new one? Forbes published an interesting article that makes it clear as day that while acquiring new customers is very important to all businesses, retaining customers is what truly boosts profitable growth. It can’t really be said better than that and if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. You don’t have to hard-sell anything to an existing customer who is happy and wants to keep buying your products. New customers require a lot more work and money. By investing in good customer service for your business, you will be making customer retention a great deal easier.
What Does “Customer Service” Mean for Your Business
Customer service is a tricky thing to define because it can mean different things to different business. For one business, it could mean a freebie while to others it could mean investing in equipment and clued-up sales staff. Each company needs to define what it means in terms of their unique business and come up with strategies and goals that fit with their company mission and ethos. Budgeting for this is of course important.
You might need to spend some time brainstorming fresh ways to provide your customers with the best service experience possible. For most companies, a good customer service strategy starts with developing and training employees on how to deal with customers, training employees on product lines to ensure they become experts in the field, incorporating the most appropriate software, and of course, doing everything possible to keep abreast of what your customers are actually looking for.
For some growing businesses, these endeavours cost money and there’s absolutely every reason to consider the various SME loans available to help with funding your enhanced customer service mission.
Good customer service is a business investment that you will never regret. No business ever said, “I wish we didn’t spend so much time and effort making sure our customer service was just right”. Instead, those who do capitalise on their customer service efforts enjoy profitable, productive businesses that become leaders in their industries.