Many businesses see customer service as an offshoot of the sales cycle, but it is a distinct and crucial part of success. Customer service is a vital opportunity to engage with present and prospective customers directly.
While poor customer service can be the death of any business, great customer support sets exceptional businesses apart from the competition. These companies rise to the top easily because they receive excellent reviews, positive word-of-mouth marketing, and repeat business.
What is Quality Customer Service?
Some business owners believe that customer service is merely dealing with issues or complaints but it’s much more than that. In fact, customer service refers to every element of your consumer or client interactions. Consider how giving quality service from the beginning might help prevent problems from arising in the first place. It’s treating them with respect and compassion that sets you apart from your competition.
Whether a potential customer calls or emails with an inquiry, a client buys a product online or someone pops into your store to make an impulse purchase; you are responsible for everything that happens from that moment on. You get to decide how much effort goes into these connections. It is having the ability and willingness to see opportunity after complaint to serve.
Have a Customer Service Standard and Plan
Without a plan and strategic approach, your levels of customer service can vary from one department or employee to another. By incorporating a customer service plan and standard into every element of your business, you can set precedence throughout your company. With advanced systems, like those from companies like itelligence you can make customer support an easy integral part of your company.
Make Customer Service Line Up with Your Brand
As well as establishing protocols regarding the type of service you offer, it’s essential to set out how you engage with customers if you want your business to be a success. You’ll want your customer support to reflect your branding and marketing. If you advertise your business as a caring and compassionate enterprise, this needs to shine through your customer service. If you deliver poor support at this stage, your investment in branding and marketing is effectively wasted.
Similarly, the company’s investment in product or service development will be lost if your customer service lets you down. When potential customers are dissuaded from purchasing because of poor service, it doesn’t matter how great your prices or products are or how pretty your website is.
Increasing Customer Retention Rates
Attracting new customers is more time-consuming and expensive than retaining the customer base you already have. Of course, good customer service is integral to retaining customers. If someone has a bad experience with your brand, they won’t be inclined to make a subsequent purchase. With good customer service, however, you have the opportunity to enhance the customer’s experience and make them eager to return and refer their friends and family.
In many cases, an individual’s perception of brand engagement is based solely on the customer service they’ve received, rather than the product or service itself. If you’re a retailer or a service provider, you likely have competition. In many cases, customers can simply go elsewhere if they receive poor service. By enhancing the level of support you offer, however, you can maintain your existing customer base, facilitate higher customer retention rates and attract new clientele to your business.