Customer satisfaction is one of the most important things that a business can hone in on for better results and better sales. Experience is important, but understanding and anticipating the customer’s needs can catapult a relatively new business to success. Just looking at the statistics is illuminating. For example, over 90% of customers who are unhappy won’t willingly do business with the company that disappointed them. Almost 80% of customers have given up on a transaction or not bought an item because they had a bad experience with service. This costs your business money in the long run and word of mouth can be a powerful thing. Even if you have great products or services, but people hear your customer service is terrible, you may have a difficult time growing a sound customer base.
Tell Me About the Importance of Customer Service
If you have good customer service, you’re more likely to have customers want to return to you time and time again. Customer loyalty can be worth ten times as much as someone making a single purchase. It’s also six to seven times pricier to get a new customer than it is to just keep an existing customer with you.
According to half of consumers, the key time to get their loyalty to the brand is when they buy an item or service for the first time. If you can prove that you’re attuned to their needs and are responsive, upbeat, and helpful, that can go a long way towards making a good first impression.
On the flip side, according to research, it’ll take you around 12 positive experiences to make up one bad experience with a customer. The majority of consumers in the United States (nine out of 10) actually say that they would be willing to pay a little more to get a better customer service experience.
How Can I Improve My Business’s Customer Service?
Whether you’re a large corporation or a small business, customer service is crucial. And indeed, 80% of Americans say that smaller businesses tend to put a greater emphasis on customer service than bigger businesses, which is something the latter party should keep in mind. Mom and pop shops or smaller stores tend to be so favorably looked upon because people feel valued and greatly appreciated when they do business there.
Making sure that you have a way for customers to reach a real person if they call a number is a good way to improve customer service. Businesses tend to hear only about 4% of complaints — in many cases, the customer will simply go elsewhere. And in the last year, almost 70% of customers just hung up in frustration because they couldn’t get to a real person on the phone. Those customers will most likely not be back.
Since we’re in a digital age, engaging on social media can be a good way to boost customer service. Are people tweeting at you in frustration or posting comments on your Facebook page? Address those concerns. Check out online comments and reviews on the products or services that customers have purchased. Almost a quarter of American adults have posted a comment or review online.
Encourage customer feedback. Offer incentives if they take a survey or leave reviews. If the reviews are poor, take note, and see what you can do to address their concerns.
If you’re a smaller business that sees certain customers regularly, get to know them. Employees only tend to ask the customer’s name under 25% of the time. The personal touch can go a long way towards establishing good customer relations and making the customer feel special and attended to.
Vetting your customer service representatives can also be helpful, as well as monitoring the kind of service they’re offering. Irritable and rude customer service reps are going to make your business look bad. Are they clearly-spoken, polite, and can customers understand them?
The age-old mantra, “the customer is always right” remains true today. It’s an important thing to remember when engaging with customers. You want them to come back and recommend it to their family, friends, and acquaintances.