6 Reasons Why Customer Service Is So Important
Posted on August 8, 2018 by Danny Leffel
In the midst of paying bills, coordinating employee schedules, and taking caring of what feels like a million other administrative details to keep your business running, it’s easy to let your customer service run on autopilot. However, taking a “good enough” approach to customer service is a mistake.
Although customer service might not seem as vital as stocking inventory or as urgent as preparing for a food safety inspection, such perceptions are inaccurate. In reality, prioritizing anything else over customer service can do major damage to your business. Here’s why it’s so important.
1. Customers Appreciate Good Service
As a business owner, you have control over several factors that draw customers to your brand — from your prices and location to your advertising. One of the most critical parts of your marketing mix, however, is your customer service. It might even be more important than price. Consumers surveyed in 2014 by American Express reported that they were willing to spend 14 percent more for superior customer service.
Plus, you have more control over customer service than almost anything else. You can only lower prices so far and still turn a profit, and both your location options and advertising budget might be limited. However, you can always provide excellent customer service.
2. Word-of-Mouth Is a Powerful Tool
Satisfied customers are more likely to refer their friends to your business. And it only makes sense that people will put more stock in a friend’s recommendation than any form of paid advertising. In fact, research by Nielsen has identified recommendations from friends or family members as the most trusted form of advertising. It also found that two-thirds of people rely on other customers’ online reviews, making them the third-most-trusted format and further underscoring the power of word-of-mouth advertising.
3. Customers Remember Bad Service
Often, customers are willing to forgive an issue with your products or services — as long as you take their initial complaint seriously and work hard to make things right. Bad customer service, on the other hand, escalates the situation. It sends a very clear message to an already unhappy customer that not only did you make a mistake, but you don’t care enough to fix it.
Customers can tell when they aren’t appreciated, and they will remember that feeling long after they would have forgotten a flaw in your product. In fact, the above-mentioned American Express survey found customers are even more likely to share their negative customer service stories than their positive ones. They also tell nearly three times as many people about bad experiences.
4. Your Competitors Can Do Better
Quality customer service also plays a key role in customer retention. Happy customers are loyal customers, but bad service undermines that customer loyalty. After all, if you can’t or won’t provide the service customers expect, they can easily take their business elsewhere. Any competitors looking for an edge will take note of your shortcomings and eagerly offer your customers a better service experience. The difference between good and bad customer service will show on your bottom line.
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5. Poor Policies Wear on Employees
Not only does poor customer service scare away customers, but it can also contribute to employee turnover. After all, when a customer is dissatisfied, your employees will suffer. Good customer service agents genuinely want to help customers, and they’ll be frustrated by policies that prevent them from doing so — and the angry customers they have to deal with as a result.
Reducing employee turnover and improving customer service go hand-in-hand. If you create a customer-oriented company culture, you will empower your employees to offer first-rate customer service and improve morale. Use the Crew app to keep employees up-to-date on current promotions, clarify key customer service policies, and offer encouragement. Your employees, in turn, can use the app to ask questions, offer suggestions, and help each other solve customer problems. The Crew app gives companies and frontline employees a new way to communicate, stay engaged and be more successful.
6. Customer Feedback Can Fuel Growth
Without an effective customer support structure in place, you’ll be missing out on one of the biggest tools for growing and improving your business: customer feedback. Keep in mind that every company will experience customer complaints. It’s how you respond that makes the difference. Use the questions, complaints, and suggestions you receive from customers to hone your customer service skills and guide changes to your company’s policies and procedures.
To maximize the benefits, proactively seek feedback regarding the experience customers have with your company. The best way to know what your customers want, need, and expect is to ask them — and then listen to what they have to say.
Don’t let the other things competing for your attention take your eyes off what should be a business’s most important goal: providing excellent customer service. Equip your employees with the customer service tips and tools they need to ensure a positive customer experience. It won’t be easy, but the time and effort you put into customer service will pay off.