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Looking to beat out the competition? Think customer service

Posted by ConsumerAffairs
ConsumerAffairs

In a recent study, New Voice Media found that U.S. companies lost an estimated $41 billion due to poor customer experiences each year. Additionally, 34 percent of all consumers report that they post negative reviews about a company following a poor customer service experience. Finally, 44 percent of American consumers will take their business somewhere else after they’ve experienced inadequate customer service.


If those statistics haven’t already triggered cold sweats, they should. Customer service plays an enormous role in the success of your company. In fact, good customer service is one of the best ways to differentiate your business from competitors.


Not convinced yet? Investing in customer service also has big payoffs: companies that excel in the customer experience arena are able to grow their revenues 4-8 percent above the market. And, after a positive customer service experience, 50 percent of customers report that they would use the business more frequently, while 69 percent would recommend the business to a friend.


It’s been proven over and over again, that customer retention is less expensive than customer acquisition. A repeat customer will spend 67 percent more than a new customer, guaranteeing more profits. Great customer service is a key way to make sure that you’re not only bringing in new customers but also keeping your old ones.


Investing in customer service doesn’t necessarily have to mean pumping up the budget. There are plenty of small steps you can take to improve your customer service today.


Show appreciation for your customer service team


The happier your teams are, the harder they’ll work. Studies show that 93 percent of happy employees are “willing to work especially hard for [their] organization’s customers.” For unhappy employees, that percentage drops to 69. Overall, happy workers tend to be more engaged.


Showing appreciation to your customer service team is the vital first step to raising the quality of your customer service. Many companies will publicly recognize the work of their marketing and sales teams, but don’t do the same for their customer service teams. The same goes for financial and benefit-related recognition. Give your customer service teams the recognition they deserve.


Collect and respond to reviews


The easiest way to gauge how your customers are feeling about your company and products is by collecting customer reviews. Responding to those reviews, whether positive or negative, shows that you’re concerned with your customers’ experiences. It also shows a willingness to do whatever is necessary in order to ensure your customers are having a positive experience.


Whether it’s installing a feedback button on your website, introducing a live chat option or partnering with a third-party review collection website, there are plenty of simple, budget-friendly ways to up your customer service game by collecting customer reviews.


Personalize your customers’ experience


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos describes his customer service philosophy this way: “We see our customers as invited guests to a party and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” One way of making that experience a little better is by offering a personalized experience. In fact, Salesforce reports that 70 percent of customers prefer to shop with businesses that offer a personalized experience.


Being able to answer customer’s questions and complaints in real time, presenting a variety of loyalty programs, curating tailored offerings, and rolling out a true omnichannel experience are all great ways to up your customer service and provide this personalized experience.  


It always pays to place more of an emphasis on customer service. And if you’ve been struggling to distinguish your company from the competition, strengthening the customer service experience is a great place to start.

Tags: Customer Service, Customer Engagement