How first-class customer service will help your business thrive
This week (October 7th – October 11th) is National Customer Service week. National Customer Service Week is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of great customer service and the role it plays in successful businesses and the growth of the economy.
Great customer service is not only vital to ensure your customers are happy, it can also help drive customer loyalty, increase client retention and can even lead to a happier workforce. Read on to find out more about why top notch customer service is paramount for your business to survive, and what you can do to improve the levels of customer service in your team…
Although providing an excellent service can sometimes involve extra resources and additional costs, when done properly it can help your business stand out from the crowd and thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Because customer service is often seen as a necessary evil, companies regularly lack a well-thought-out strategy that is applicable to the modern ways of working. When you consider the fact that it is, on average, five times more expensive to acquire a new customer rather than to retain an existing one, it really highlights the importance of getting it right. But an improved experience does more than put a smile on the face of your customer.
Strengthen your Brand and Improve Opportunities
Word-of-mouth advertising is worth its weight in gold and can have a monumental impact on a business. Ensuring your customer has a first-class experience means a positive view of your business and your brand will be reinforced. This can lead to recommendations to colleagues or friends, which can lead to further business opportunities as we are often more likely to listen to the advice of our friends rather than relying on online reviews. Research shows that over three quarters (77%) of customers are likely to recommend a company to a friend if they have a positive experience.
Retention over Acquisition
It costs, on average, around five times more to attract a new customer than it costs to retain an existing customer. That fact alone should be enough to highlight why customer service is so important. Happy customers are more likely to stay around for longer, and a happier client base leads to increased loyalty and a higher chance they’ll recommend you to friends and colleagues.
Improved Employee Engagement
Numerous studies have shown that if your team are happy and engaged, they will be much more productive, leading to increased business performance and a more productive and efficient workforce with reduced employee turnover. When we work for companies that treat customers with respect and that offer a great customer experience, it delivers a real sense of pride and professional fulfilment which, in turn, improves engagement and means employees are less likely to search for employment elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you expect your team to undercut or discredit customers, it can do the total opposite.
The importance of customer service definitely should not be ignored, and great customer service can be the difference between merely surviving and thriving as a company. But how can you improve your internal processes to ensure your customers receive the best service?
It sounds obvious, but many firms neglect to provide proper training for customer-facing employees. Your staff are the face of your business, so they need to be confident and proficient at dealing with any scenario they might come across to ensure your customers’ expectations are met. Practice makes perfect, so customer service training should be a regular and compulsory part of ongoing training.
Look at Every Touchpoint
When developing policies and strategies to improve your customer service, it’s important to consider every single interaction your customers might have with your business. From searching your website and placing an order, to liaising with your technical team and working alongside your designers, right up to the chat they have with the delivery driver. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and imagine every conceivable interaction they could have with your business. From there, you can start to think about ways to address these scenarios and your customer service policies can be made more effective.
Commit from the Top
Great customer service works from the top down and starts with the attitude of the boss. Employees pay close attention to how their management team treat colleagues and customers, and if their behaviour is not in line with what is expected of the rest of the team, it can result in a lack of commitment and motivation. In an environment where the philosophy is “do as I say, not as I do” it can be difficult to motivate staff.
Allow and Encourage Feedback from Customers
Encouraging feedback from clients, whether it’s through surveys, focus groups or online submission options, is a great way to find out what they really think. A bad customer experience in any part of the customer lifecycle can have a huge impact on the relationship, but it’s nearly impossible to anticipate every issue or concern your customer might have. The importance comes from how you deal with it, and negative feedback should be seen as a learning experience. Every issue is a learning opportunity, and can be used to refine and improve the customer service experience.
At Scanomat UK & Ireland, customer service and customer feedback is really important to us. Take a look at some of our client testimonials here