Few companies realize the importance of customer service. It can literally make or break your business. Even if you offer the best products at the lowest price, your unresponsive or incompetent handling of customers can ruin you. Here are a few of the reasons excellent customer service is critical to your business success.
Your Current Customers Are Your Future Customers
Japan is a country that’s known for its stellar customer service. This is because of a key principle in its business culture. Businesses see it this way – they’re not selling you their product; they’re selling it to your grandchildren. This applies to everything from the highest-priced luxury goods to a handful of sweets.
Your current customers are your best future customers. It’s much easier to sell to the same people repeatedly than to constantly look for new customers. This is why companies invest so much in building brand loyalty. Your customer service is what builds that relationship. They know they can trust and rely on you, and they just plain like you.
What One Angry Customer Can Do
Another important reason to offer excellent customer service is that if you don’t, a disgruntled customer can do an exponential amount of damage. People talk, and they listen to what their friends say much more closely than to what your advertisements say. Especially today, with everyone reading online reviews, it’s essential that your customer service gives them nothing to complain about.
Happy Customers Get You More Business
With a high standard of quality and service you’ll have lots of happy customers, and they talk too. You’ll quickly get a reputation as a business that goes the extra mile to make your people happy. When prospective customers are searching for products or services, they’ll see the many glowing reviews of your company and know you’re going to be reliable even before their first contact with you.
Having a large number of positive customer reviews can also defuse the negative ones. If you have a long list of 5-star reviews where the customer absolutely loves your business, one review that complains about your service will be ignored. People recognize a chronic complainer for what they really are.
Example – Into the Email Void
Let’s say you have an online store. A customer buys from you, but has a question about the purchase after it was made. They’re concerned about whether or not their address details went through. They send you an email and it disappears into the void.
Even if they get their product without any problems whatsoever, they’re going to hold a grudge against you for not responding. When somebody on a forum is talking about buying from you, they’re going to have their say – ‘I bought something from them and everything was fine, but when I asked them a simple question, they never replied.’
Example – Going the Extra Mile
Using the same example of an online store above, let’s say that a customer buys from you but they have a problem. It was a software product and after they made the purchase, they were wondering if it was right for their operating system. They’re clueless about computers and perhaps made the purchase too hastily.
A representative from your company gets onto live chat with them and tells them they can verify it for them. Just in case they bought the wrong product, you’ll give them an immediate refund or a credit for something else you offer. After a quick chat, you verify that it’s the right product and they’re on Facebook telling everybody you’re a caring, responsive company.
Think about the above considerations and examples EVERY time you interact with a customer, because you never know who will be chatting about it with their friends online or offline. Treat each customer as if they’re the one single person who’s going to tell everybody about you.
Details of our “Customer Service Excellence” training course can be found at http://www.plymouthbusinesstraining.co.uk/customer.html