Why Customer Service?
Most business owners believe that their businesses exist for the sole purpose of making a profit. While profitability is a major reason why businesses should exist, it shouldn’t be the sole reason. The singular goal of making a profit, and considering nothing else, can be detrimental to the future of a business.
For a business to be able to stand the test of time, it is important to add value to the lives of customers. It greatly helps to remember that customers don’t buy your goods and services to earn you a profit, they do so to solve their pressing needs and problems.
The keywords or operative terms for businesses that have stood the test of time are solutions and relationships. These words (solutions and relationships) are the major ingredients necessary for commendable customer service i.e. service that is useful, relevant and critical to the business you are into.
Equipping for the future of your business thus translates to creating and nurturing productive and dynamic relationships between you and the market you serve. How do you do this? By listening to customer insights, understanding their wants and needs, and thinking of effective ways to solve their problems and proffer solutions.
What Customer Service is
Concerning businesses, customer service is simply trying to feel what the customer feels and essentially trying to walk in their shoes. Customer service involves attending to your customer’s wills and whims throughout the customer journey, from the process of gathering information about you, to the part where they make a purchase and even after they have made a purchase.
In a nutshell, customer service is about the customer’s experience with your brand and service. The goal is to guarantee that your customer’s experience from the start to the end of your transactions with them is personalized and unique, and is as easy, productive and pleasant as possible.
From the outset, your products and services should be designed in a way that eases the concerns and problems of your customers and provides them with a ton of value.
Why Customer Service should be your priority
Businesses have different beliefs on what they think would be best for their brands to thrive. Some think it’s having the latest technology, while others might think it all has to do with how much money is spent on marketing. While all these are great and extremely important, it won’t exactly solve your problems.
You may have the best and the latest product in the market, but that hardly gives you an edge in today’s supercompetitive market. This is why it is important to have a brand that stands out and is unique enough to thrive and come out on top in the face of fierce competition.
Successful, durable brands are built on a culture of customer satisfaction. Businesses that provide good customer service and experience often outlast and excel above their competitors. Below are five reasons why you should prioritize good customer service.
1. Nothing beats human-to-human interaction
Let’s face it, we’ve all been customers at different points and we know how annoying it is when we’ve tried to reach a company’s customer service “hotline” to make an enquiry or lay a complaint only to be told repeatedly by an automated response about how important our calls are, which button(s) to press to speak with an operator and how they’d soon attend to us. Oftentimes this sequence is repeated multiple times and we never even get to speak with anyone either because the call drops or we get tired of waiting and hang up the call ourselves.
How many times have you reached a customer complaint page only to be welcomed by automated messages? These experiences can no doubt be very frustrating and we almost regret purchasing these goods or using these services.
Irrespective of digital advancements, humans still prefer to interact with other humans. A human voice or any human interaction is priceless and much preferred to any automated response. Human interaction puts a face and name to your brand so that your customers know who they are talking to. Humanized services create strong brand loyalty among customers as it helps them understand that they are being listened to, their grievances are being heard, and that they matter.
Customers are tired of automation and need to interact with humans. Once this need is met and addressed, you would be making a difference and providing more opportunities for your business.
2. Personalized services help you refine your business
As is known in marketing, whatever is irrelevant to your customers is irrelevant to your business and brand in general.
Most brands toot their horns about how good they are and they forget to take a step back and actually check if their business makes sense to their customers. It is important to regularly ‘declutter’ and look for new ways to make sure your business remains very relevant to your customers.
Mass production of goods may have been the way to go in the past, but it isn’t so anymore. Now, you need to design products, goods and services to be more unique and personalized as this will make your customers feel more special.
Acquiring the target market means creating a relationship that benefits both you and your customers, and the way to do this is to personalize your services. This relationship is crucial as the constant feedback created would provide significant pointers to the aspects of your business that customers love and relate to the most that you can further optimize, as well as those that aren’t as popular and that need to be tweaked or scrapped.
With a more personalized approach, customers will remain loyal to your brand and will continuously patronize you and this will lead to better business.
3. Greater focus and attention translates to more customers
In order to attract more customers, you need to focus your attention on their distinctive wants and needs. Each customer has a unique requirement and as such, your customer services also need to be unique and tailored.
As we’ve discussed above, your brand and business needs to be relevant to your customers and their lives or you wouldn’t be able to do business with them. This is where great customer service becomes significant.
What are your customers’ complaints? Are they being listened to? What solutions are you providing? Do your products and services serve their demands? Are their lives being made easier? Are you providing value?
Are your services fast and convenient? Is your website user friendly? Are your customer service agents knowledgeable? Do they listen attentively? Do they reply to emails fast? Do they know your products in depth?
When most customers search for products, they take note of these factors. When you also take note of these, you’re able to attract more customers and cater adequately to all your clients’ needs such that none of them leave disgruntledly.
Paying close attention to the market and leading by example will be beneficial and will have a major role in getting more customers.
4. Repeat Purchases
Great customer service is very helpful when it comes to retaining customers. When your customer service is great, it will lead to repeated purchases from your customers and make them your brand ambassadors by influencing others in their social circle to do business with you also.
Studies have shown that happy customers always return. They would buy more from you and will be willing to give comprehensive reviews and insights on your products and services which you can use to make them better and for marketing purposes to get even more customers.
When the needs of your customers are met, they will be loyal to your brand and would in turn increase your revenue. Loving your own by providing great customer service will help your business in the long and short term.
5. Good customer service saves you costs
Developing good customer service is also about saving costs. Investing to make your customer service better will, in turn, save you from spending too much on new customer acquisition and in marketing your product. Studies have shown that acquiring a new customer can cost up to five times more than retaining an existing one.
Also, by investing in good customer experience and customer service, you will avoid expensive repairs and returns. You will lessen or avoid completely the factors that lead to frustration on the part of your customers that if not addressed, might do long-term damage to your brand.
There are horror stories of brands that had to spend tons of money to appease angry and displeased customers. These unpleasant stories could have been completely avoided with good customer service.
Creating good customer service does not have to be complicated or expensive. You can gather experience from your frontline employees i.e. those that deal with customers personally, and use these to determine how you can better serve your customers.
If you want your business to grow and thrive in today’s choked up ecosystem, you simply must prioritize customer service. You must ensure that your customers have personalized and unique experiences with your brand and grow and nurture your customers’ trust and faith in you and your brand.
Great customer service is an important tool to cultivate if you want to stand out and attract and retain loyal customers and save your brand money from advertising.
Want to learn more on strategies that will help grow your business? Click here to read our post on Digital Marketing Strategy.