How many times in the past have you completed a purchase not thinking about the product or service you’ve just bought, but the experience you had buying it.
Was it easy to buy, or was it difficult? Could you find everything you needed easily or was it like a scavenger hunt? Were the people you spoke to friendly and helpful or did they make you feel like you spending your money with them was an inconvenience?
These are regular thoughts in the minds of today’s consumers who are so bombarded with options when it comes to products that quite often the service they get is the thing they’ll remember more.
In fact more than two-thirds of customers admit that their expectations on customer service are higher than ever, while 87% of customers think businesses should be putting more into delivering better customer experiences.
At Face For Business we make our reputation on providing excellent customer service online and over the phone for our clients and we hear first hand the difference customer service can make.
So with that in mind, here are our thoughts on why customer service is now so important when it comes to your brand’s perception.
Happy customers become your word of mouth marketers
Customer service isn’t just about making one customer happy, it’s also about what those customers can do for your business when they walk away happy. We’ve all had, and given, recommendations to friends and family about products and services based on our own experiences.
What do you want customers to say about your business after a purchase or experience?
Providing great customer service can turn consumers into free marketing for your business and increase your brand perception without the additional marketing and sales costs.
Alternatively, giving poor customer service can have the opposite effect so it’s worth paying attention to.
Win more repeat business
As business owners we’ve all heard that it’s much cheaper to retain existing customers than it is to win new ones. And as much of a cliche as it is, it’s true.
Winning repeat business from existing customers doesn’t have all the costs you need to win new customers through your marketing and sales. So it makes sense to try and retain business once you’ve won it, especially as some research suggests loyal customers can be worth up to 10x more than their first purchase.
And providing great customer service can contribute greatly towards this retention strategy.
Around nine in 10 customers say they’d be more likely to make another purchase after a great customer service experience.
Win more testimonials online
We’ve already touched on the impact happy customers can have on your business through word of mouth. But it’s also worth considering the impact social media and online testimonials (good or bad) can have on a business.
Customers aren’t shy about voicing their dissatisfaction on social media platforms or about leaving poor comments on review sites.
But they’re also just as likely to leave positive reviews about their experiences. And given that many purchasing decisions take place online at least partly, these positive reviews and testimonials can be gold dust in winning more new business online.
Earning more brand loyalty
Brand loyalty is hard earned today but can pay off massively in the long-run if you become known as a company that delivers a great service.
According to research in Forbes, 73% of companies with above average customer service perform better financially than competitors with average or below standard service. And 96% of customers say customer service is a key part of how they choose which brands to be loyal to.
This can be something as simple as having real people on the end of the phone when a customer calls your number – rather than using a robotic answering machine. Or it could be using Live Chat to provide fast answers to customer questions via your website or to help them find the information they need more quickly.
Increased customer lifetime value
We’ve talked about how providing great customer service can help win more repeat business, and this feeds into increasing the overall lifetime value of a customer.
Let’s say you sell software on a subscription of £30 a month (£360 per year).
If that customer stays loyal to you over a decade because they have a good relationship with you and they know you’ll provide a great service, then their lifetime value could be upwards of £3,600.
Make yourself stand out
Ecommerce and even B2B companies have seen a huge rise in the number of competitors in most markets. And with most companies selling roughly the same products or services and usually at around the same price, a new way to stand out is needed.
And for many businesses that’s become the level of customer service and support they offer.
Because customers know they can easily find what they want with another business, they’re much more likely to stick with the business they feel confident can make their lives easier when they need help or want to buy something.
So being known as the best at customer service can be the thing that makes you stand out in a crowded market.
Customer service is now a marketing and sales tool
Thinking of customer service as just a resource to deal with enquiries or complaints is missing a massive opportunity to use service as a cost-effective sales and marketing tool that can not only win new customers, but increase the value of existing ones.
It’s clear that customers value service as a key part of the buying experience these days so it’s becoming more important than ever that service forms a part of your overall sales and marketing strategy.
Give us a call on 0333 323 1007 and we can talk through how our outsourced call answering service and managed live chat can help your business win more through outsourced customer service.
08th January, 2024
Posted by Face For Business