In today’s tough economic climate, many companies are looking for creative ways to streamline operations. While saving money is said to never be a bad idea, it is when it comes at the expense of the customer.
When it comes to a brand’s reputation, nothing is more front and centre than its customer service. Customer service is the face of a company, the cornerstone—it’s what people remember after interacting with a brand.
The fact of the matter is that customers might like getting a deal on a product or service, but what they remember most is how they were treated, both before and after their initial interaction. That’s why it’s essential for businesses to keep their customers happy; because if they don’t, the competition will.
What that means is that a bad customer service experience can have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line, which the following points prove.
• 86% of customers will quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience
• 73% will leave a brand because of rude and incompetent customer service
• 51% say they will only contact customer service once before giving up on a purchase
• People are twice as likely to talk about a bad customer service experience over a good one
Great customer service is not just the right thing to provide; it also makes great business sense. The following points are proof:
• 80% of customers say they would pay more for better customer service
• 78% of people recommend an online brand after a positive customer service experience
• 70% will be repeat customers if a brand resolves an issue
• It’s six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep one
Sure, every company says customer service is their top priority, but that doesn’t seem to translate when it comes to day-to-day operations. Just type “bad customer service experiences” into your favourite search engine and see what pops up.
Sadly, most businesses are blind or unaware of their own customer service failures. A full 80% of companies believe they provide superior customer service, but only eight percent of customers feel the same way. This may not be a big surprise when you consider that, according to a recent survey, only 10 of the top 100 online merchants provided stellar customer service. Clearly, there’s room for improvement.
Why is it so difficult for businesses to provide a thriving, customer-driven business and effective customer service?
It’s easier to exceed your customer’s needs when everyone has the same objective and outlook. This is why it can be a good idea to develop a standardized customer service playbook. Whether they’re on the front lines or on the phones, a practical guide can help customer service representatives discover, plan, act on, and optimize the brand’s customer service operations.
1. Discover: For businesses to implement successful customer service campaigns, they need to not just have a better understanding of who their audience is, but to also understand that their customers’ needs are constantly changing. It’s a tough task when you consider the customer service experience is a highly personalized one.
2. Plan: Thanks to the Internet, social media sites, and on-the-go customers using their mobile devices, the customer service landscape has changed dramatically. To keep pace, businesses need to develop a customer service platform that engages their customers no matter where they are. They also need to develop different strategies to keep them loyal.
3. Act On: Once the foundations of the customer service plan are in place, it’s time to put words into action by hiring the right staff and implementing the most effective and efficient policies and procedures.
4. Optimize: Customer service isn’t static; it’s fluid. There will always be ways to improve, enhance, and optimize performance. Listen to your customers; they’re the future of your brand.
“Bad Customer Service: It’s Going to Cost You,” Desk.com, July 24, 2013; www.desk.com/blog/bad-customer-service/.
“Infographic: What is Bad Customer Service Costing Your Business?” HelpScout.net, March 28, 2013; https://www.helpscout.net/blog/bad-customer-service/.