If you are looking for a way to retain lifelong relationships with your customers and increase the company’s profitability, then your customer service department is a great place to start with.
“If you build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”
A happy and satisfied customer comes again and again to your organization but once a customer gets dissatisfied, he never wants to purchase goods and services again from you. Yes, service matters along with product, design, distribution, technology, marketing, etc.
In short, happy and satisfied customers lead to more growth, profit, and sustainability for your organization.
According to Gartner Research, 89% of firms now anticipate competitors based mostly on consumer experience.
What is customer service?
Customer service is the assistance you provide to your customers before and after they purchase from you to make their experience as simple and pleasurable as possible. If you want to retain your customers and develop your business at the same time, you need to provide exceptional customer service.
Gone are the days when traditional phone support agents were a thing but today’s customer service extends far beyond conventional phone support representatives. It may be accessed through email, the web, text messages, and social media. Most businesses also provide self-service assistance, allowing customers to self-serve and discover answers at any time of the day or night. Customer service is more than just answering the queries of customers, it’s an essential component of the promise your brand or company makes to the customers.
Recommended read: Customer service: What it is & how to master [Guide + examples]
Why is customer service important?
I am sure you might have asked this question from yourself too often: Why is customer service important and how does it affect the overall growth of your business? Especially when your business is on a low budget, it seems like a waste of money to spend on customer service when you have several high-priority functions.
But your customer service team should be as important as your other teams in the organization. After all, your customer service department has a direct connection to the customers. Great customer service leads to a fantastic customer experience, especially when your support team goes beyond just reacting to customer problems and begins to anticipate difficulties. When your customer support team is empowered to go above and beyond for your customers, they can create winning and outstanding experiences that help you stand out from the rest.
Still not convinced? Let me walk you through some of the reasons that are too good to ignore, and by the end of this article, you will surely understand why customer service is important for your business to grow.
Why customer service is important
Customer service represents your brand image, ideas, and values
You might have a notion of what your brand represents and what’s the overall idea behind it. But do your customers know about the same?
That’s where your customer support team comes into play. Your customers build an assumption of your brand based on the social media presence, advertisements, newsletters, and other external marketing including how you project your brand out there. Just a simple example: A brand using an 1800 toll-free number in ads gets 30% more traction in comparison to brands not using toll-free numbers. Why? Well, because 1800 toll-free numbers are highly regarded and trusted by people. Similarly, brands using IVR menu in their customer service number are seen as more professional than brands using non-business numbers for customer service. All these small things matter.
And no wonder, your customer service team has more control over all these factors and your customers’ perception than anyone else. Customer support agents deal directly with your customers and are in charge of portraying your brand while communicating with existing or future customers. In fact, a study shows that 73% of customers believe that pleasant and friendly customer service keeps them loyal to the brand.
You cannot represent your brand without having a customer service department because you have no direct connection to your customers without your customer support agent. The bottom line is that your customer service personnel is critical in conveying to customers your desired brand image. They can help you in persuading customers of your strengths and advantages which in turn help in retaining customers.
Word of mouth matters
Let’s just say you are a customer, if you were to buy products and services from a brand and depending upon your experience you are gonna rave about it to your family, friends, and close ones. Just like that when your customers are happier, they are gonna recommend it to others. It’s totally human nature to rave about something you absolutely love and it’s natural that you want your near and dear ones to commit to a brand that you trust.
It’s called a domino effect or chain reaction when one customer appreciates your brand in front of others and then the other one in front of another customer and this goes on. Your customers are the biggest source of advertisement if you give them an extremely good reason. If your customer service team is satisfied and happy, they work extremely hard to make your customers happy.
Customer service either make your brand or break your brand
Today’s customers know very well what they want or expect from a brand and they have become accustomed to what they receive. In recent years, customers’ expectations have risen, in fact, 82% of CEOs stated that consumer expectations have risen from their firms and are much greater than it was three years ago.
Moreover, today’s customers have access to a larger audience through various social media platforms and are eager to share unpleasant experiences online where they can reach a large number of people. It has become more vital than ever to serve customers through all channels and platforms to establish good customer relationships from day one.
Customers pay a premium for superior customer service
According to research, more than 67% of customers are ready to spend extra for better customer service and 50% of customers boost their purchases with that organization after having a great experience with them. In today’s time when businesses are learning to emphasize customer service and if any organization doesn’t do so will fail miserably.
Customers are impacted by even a single encounter, one great experience may be the decisive element in their decision to remain with a company, whilst one poor experience may send them fleeing to a rival. As it is said, “it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for that one negative experience.”
Customer satisfaction is directly linked to a company’s long-term success
According to Fundera, around 20% of businesses fail in their initial year and 50% fail by their fifth year.
There is a huge risk involved for entrepreneurs when starting a business. But providing the customers with outstanding service is the surest method to retain momentum and minimize losses for expanding start-ups.
Reasons for the failure of a business can differ from one business to another, due to lack of finances, misunderstanding of market value, or an inability to grow according to the market. But exceptional customer service can help you grow your business as well as provide long-term success.
You business requires omnichannel solutions to reach customers
COVID-19 has changed the business world upside down, even the biggest of businesses got affected by the global pandemic. Before COVID-19, businesses used to explore different ways and approaches to engage customers but this pandemic totally changed the way of doing business.
After the pandemic hit the whole world, every business had to explore new ways to engage customers via social media, live chat, or video calls, etc. And these channels are here to stay for a long time as we are still amid a global pandemic. Customers not only enjoy using these channels but have already learned to anticipate these channels as a norm in the customer service industry. Omnichannel has become a must-have for businesses and every organization must invest in these solutions to connect with customers and provide a consistent customer experience.
Customer service leads to valuable feedback
I can’t put enough emphasis on the above statement because feedback is one of the essential components for every organization. It can either make or break your brand. It only takes one negative feedback to lose customers. According to the study, around 47% of customers share their experience on social media channels, be it negative or positive but here is the catch; only one out of 26 customers share their experience, others prefer to switch to another brand.
Everyone has a different opinion and so does the customer. As a business owner and executive, you won’t know what your customers expect from your products or services or what they perceive by looking at your products. Everyone who works on a product, including team leaders, developers, testers has an opinion about it. That’s why getting feedback from customers is essential and you don’t need to share every customer feedback in public, it is for you and your brand to do better and better to meet customers’ expectations.
Here are a few different ways you can use to collect feedback from customers:
- Customer feedback form
- Social media
- IVR calls
- On-site activity
Customer service increases Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Customer Lifetime Value is one of the core metrics to measure when you are running a business. It shows how much money you can make from a single customer or how much a customer is spending on your business. Investing in your customer service and improving it allows you to fine-tune your CLV. Clients are more inclined to return for more if a support agent makes them pleased during their engagement. Your customers may also share their experiences on social media, which in turn helps to build rapport with the customer base.
This creates trust between you and your customers and makes it easier for you to upsell and cross-sell other items. New users will have confidence in your sales team’s recommendations, resulting in a more pleasant purchase experience for both your customers and employees.
Great customer service builds trust and loyalty
Time has changed and so do the buying expectations of customers. They want to know they’re buying from the proper source, and a well-trained support team can help you get there. Whenever customers have a second thought about a product, skilled customer representatives can put them at rest. Moreover, good support agents’ expertise might encourage customers to remain with your organization since it shows that it is operated by people who know what they’re talking about.
The best policy you can follow if you are running a business is being transparent and honest with your customers. And it should begin with the first encounter. To get the client’s attention, skip pushy sales copy and sophisticated marketing efforts. Research has shown that 94% of customers are loyal to the brands that are transparent with them and 73% are willing to pay extra for complete transparency.
It’s 2022 & customers expect higher-level of services now
Customers don’t just expect your brand to have a customer service department in 2022, they expect it to be world-class and available to assist at any time. Customers, on the other hand, don’t just simply expect, they demand high-quality customer service. If they feel they are not being treated well as a customer or an individual, they are more likely to switch brands instantly. Customers today have more alternatives than ever before and if they feel dissatisfied, they aren’t scared to move to other brands.
If you want to retain your customers and attract new customers then you can meet their expectations at any level and cost. That;s why you also need to have required tools in place to be real-time responsive to your customers. For example, if you’re running a call marketing campaign using a virtual number, and if customers request a callback, you should be able to get back to them instantly using an IVR response system or voicemail service and then follow-up with them ASAP using an outgoing calling solution. That’s one example of providing real-time service on call. Same strategy shall be in place for all different mediums and touchpoints.
You get more marketing opportunities
More than 70% of the customers are more likely to appreciate a brand that reaches them first. This is the essence of proactive customer service, it’s a win-win situation for everyone if you are willing to offer a helping hand at any moment. This way, they will know you’re doing everything you can to make their user experience as seamless as possible.
If you’re in search of a budget-friendly approach to invest in your company, proactive customer service is a good option. Rather than waiting for consumers to report problems, this strategy contacts them before they are even aware that they exist. Customers will be aware that you are always trying their user experience. It can also be used as a marketing tool to introduce and promote new products and services.
Customer retention is less expensive than acquiring new customers
I can’t help but say it again: Customer retention is less expensive than acquiring new customers. While expanding your business you don’t want to let your old customers go. To get you onboard this idea, here is one more finding: An improvement in client retention might result in a 25% increase in overall profitability.
The cost of acquiring a new client is higher for a firm that does not devote a significant portion of its resources to customer service. As a result, investing in customer service may lower your churn rate, lowering the amount of money you have to spend on recruiting new customers and lowering the total Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).
Customer satisfaction enhances company culture
When customers are happy and satisfied, employees are automatically happy which in turn enhances company culture. Employees will follow your lead if you develop a culture of service. The product pays attention to customer service representatives. Teammates stay and work together with love, compassion, and most importantly, respect.
When customers are valued, you may build a beneficial business culture by appreciating them and working diligently to serve them. In a more collaborative atmosphere, work gets done faster, productivity improves, and also customer satisfaction enhances.
Some tips to improve your customer service
Active listening is the key
Don’t forget that a customer is a human being too and he wants you to listen to his problems and concerns. The individual must feel heard, understood and that you are there for solving his problems. Active listening is a valuable talent that you may enhance by practicing with your coworkers and family on a regular basis. First and foremost, you should approach each discussion to learn something new and concentrate on the speaker. Ask clarifying questions once the customer has completed speaking to ensure you grasp what they’re saying. Finally, give a short recap of the chat to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Always make use of positive language
Have you ever experienced how one positive word can take all the stress away? That’s the same with your customers too, using positive words or language with them can take all the stress away from them. Words are powerful and they can leave a lasting impression on anyone, and also they may help you build trust with your consumers. Positive verbs should be utilized. When interacting with consumers, be genuine, friendly, and memorable, and maintain a calm and cheerful demeanor, even if the customer is upset.
Get to know your products and services
Before helping a customer out, the first and foremost thing is to know your products and services very well, you must have a thorough understanding of how your products function. Each customer representative should spend some time onboarding with a seasoned product specialist so that he may ask questions and thoroughly comprehend the product. You’ll be able to assist customers in debugging difficulties, and you’ll have product tips and tricks to give to make the product more user-friendly.
Recommended read: 20 tips to improve your customer service in 2021.
Customer service is too important to ignore.
If you want a thriving business, then you must master customer service. One of the most undervalued assets in any company is customer service. Its success can positively affect every level of your business if you can establish its worth and get your team on board to harness the complete potential of customer service.
And the most important tip is that if you make your employees happy then they will surely make your clients happy, too! So, go ahead, create a happy culture in your organization and convert your customers into loyal fans with great customer service.