In today’s hyper competitive business environment, businesses that survive and thrive are those that deliver value to their customers and provide good customer service experiences. Customers know the difference between good and great customer service and are willing to reward businesses that treat them well.
It is often believed that providing exceptional customer service is reserved for businesses with endless deep pockets. However, a great customer service experience is not about the bells and whistles, it is the appropriateness of the interaction. A time starved customer that is happy interacting with a chatbot will consider having to deal with a concierge a poor customer service experience. The value of having the right customer service team in place with the right level of support cannot be ignored in today’s world where the cost of a bad customer experience is phenomenal thanks to the viral nature of social media.
Customer service experience took on a new direction and a new level of importance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for customer service was glaring.
Businesses that empathized with their customers as they addressed their needs effortlessly built a loyal base of raving fans.
There is tendency for shortsighted business leaders to prioritize operation requirements such as recouping losses, fund allocation, marketing, branding etc. over customer service as they navigate the aftershocks post pandemic. However, businesses that are on the ball are those that will capitalize on the customer service gains during the pandemic to strengthen their relationship with customers by providing additional profitable products and services. They understand the value of the direct connection between businesses and their customers and they are best positioned to maximize it.
The good news is that excellent customer service does not have to break the bank. Smart businesses leverage available technology and optimize their processes to deliver a personal touch to their customers. In turn, investing in great customer service that supports and empowers your customers, results in financial and productivity benefits through:
Naturally, happy customers become repeat customers. Quality customer experience creates a relationship with customers that make them reluctant to move their businesses to the competition, effectively retaining customers. Essentially, customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition and an increase in customer retention of merely 5% can equate to an increase in profit of 25%. For the simple reason that, repeat customers are most likely to spend more with organizations that make them feel valued, appreciated, and satisfied.
Reports of great customer service travels quickly, which enables businesses to acquire new customers at a fraction of the cost, without investing in heavy marketing and promotions. Businesses can generate additional capital, required to hire new employees, invest in the latest technology, and ultimately expand their operations, which guarantees profitability, and maximum returns on the existing customer service investment.
More Effective Workforce
An organization that emphasizes exceptional customer service at all times doesn’t just benefit customers, but also has a positive effect on its employees. Employees who deliver excellent customer experience receive their customers’ appreciation and are further motivated to offer good service, which in turn improves morale and productivity.
As the saying goes “there’s nothing new under the sun”, which means that no one business is completely unique and one of a kind. There are several organizations competing within the same market, the same target audience and offering the same services. The quickest way for businesses to establish a competitive advantage is by providing excellent service that might not be received at other organizations. By emphasizing customer service as part of their marketing strategy and backing it up, businesses will differentiate themselves from competitors that do not deliver, thereby establishing their organization as unique and difficult to beat.
At the end of the day, business owners have significant control over their customers’ experiences. By investing in customer service training for staff, hiring the right people and adapting the right technological innovations to efficiently and effectively meet their customers needs, they will continue to stay ahead of the competition. The biggest mistake for businesses to make is to assume that one unsatisfied customer would not affect their bottom line. The reason being that, bad news spreads fast and in these digital times, bad referrals can negatively impact any operational growth.