IMPORTANCE OF CUSTOMER SERVICE
Have you ever asked yourself – What is the importance of customer service? Is it really that important? Does it have to be great? Isn’t good, good enough?
Take a look back at your personal experience with companies, and you’ll agree with us that there have been only a few times that customer service was so great it made you feel like a special customer and not just another unresolved ticket.
Many companies, both the new and the more established ones tend to make the mistake of overlooking or underestimating the importance of quality customer service; perhaps, it hasn’t fully dawned on them that customer service has the capacity to make or break their company.
How? Below, we’ll discuss why customer service is important and why great service must run through all parts of your company.
Increases Customer Loyalty
Great products are not good enough to ensure customer loyalty. In fact, research has shown that customers would rather work with companies whose products are not as good as yours – if they get much better service from them!
But, don’t just assume that what you’re offering is great! The best way to know if your buyers will purchase from you again in the future is by offering them what we term Customer Satisfaction.
This gives your customers the opportunity to rate your product or service! If you average a score of 7 or above, you know you did a good job and there’s a good chance they’ll be coming back, and for those who give you a full 10 or even 9, you can count on them to even serve as company evangelists
If your score is 6 or below, you run the risk of losing that client. The best thing to do with this set of clients is to put them on a watch list and have them followed up on. Find out what went wrong and how you can be better – and then work on being better.
Stands You Out
One very significant differentiator in a massively cutthroat marketplace where companies have to compete for clients is customer satisfaction. Only the businesses that find a way to make customer support a core element of their business strategy can survive and possibly thrive under today’s environment.
Let’s consider two companies that offer similar products, how do you choose one? Will your opinion change if someone recommends one to you? How did they arrive at the option recommended? Good customer service makes all the difference!
Companies with an effective customer service culture create an avenue where customers are heard and made to feel special. When customers are made to feel special – they don’t forget. They always have you in mind and recommend your service or product whenever possible.
Reduces Customer Churn
Accenture’s 2009 global customer satisfaction report showed that the major reason behind customer churn was not price but customer service. It established what we’ve always known which is that meeting and exceeding customer expectation when it comes to service makes them your customers for life – or as long as possible.
The importance of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is something that must be understood by businesses as ROI increases in a directly proportional ratio to the CLV.
A recent survey revealed that completely satisfied customers account for about 2.6 times the revenue gotten from less satisfied customers. This just means that if clients don’t like the way you serve them, they’ll avoid purchasing from you whenever they can.
Decreases Negative Word Of Mouth Publicity
Studies have shown that an unhappy customer is likely to tell about 10-15 other people about their bad experience (we don’t need research to tell us this). That’s too much bad publicity and it will eventually affect your bottom line.
There is a direct relationship between customer satisfaction, repeat orders, and increased revenue. Unfortunately, many firms do not actively work towards knowing when they’ve performed badly or how poor customer satisfaction affects their business.
You might not mind losing one client because he/she wasn’t satisfied with your service. However, it becomes a serious problem when you have to lose another 30 customers because of the word of mouth spread by that one unsatisfied customer.
You have to keep measuring customer satisfaction levels to ensure you keep the negative word of mouth publicity at bay.
Acquiring Customers Can Be Expensive - It Is Much Cheaper To Retain Old Ones
This is one customer service statistic that I think everyone knows. It cost about 7 – 8 times more to land a new customer than to retain an old one! If this doesn’t help you understand the importance of retaining your clients through great service, nothing else will. Getting new clients can be an expensive task; you have to spend a lot to first get their attention, and then put in a lot of effort to convince them to try out your product/service.
On the other hand, little or no money is needed to retain an old client, why? You don’t have to get their attention – you already have it! And you don’t have to convince them to try because they already have. Moving forward, any interaction they have with your company will be based on the quality of service they received when they took a leap of faith and tried you out – isn’t is easier to just offer great service so they always think of you positively?
If customer service is so important, how then do you measure and improve it? Try any of the following strategies
- Record customer demands by conducting surveys
- Send special promotions and offers via email
- Educate your customers via blog posts or articles
- Find out how happy your customers are by measuring their satisfaction.
- Personalize their buying experiences
Customer service has a very important role to play in your business. It is the leading indicator of loyalty, therefore, if you can identify your unhappy clients and reduce their number to the barest minimum, your bottom line will thank you.
It is also a very important way of attracting new customers. Today’s customers care about the add-ons and extra elements they get from buying a product as much as the product itself, so customer loyalty is heavily dependent on your customer satisfaction through customer service.