When you think of customer service you more than likely just think of the number your customers call when they’ve got a question or a complaint. But customer service can be a lot more proactive than that and can actually be a highly effective marketing tactic if you understand why it’s so important.
Because customers today have more choice about what they buy and who they buy from (and most companies offer roughly the same products) the service the customer gets can be the big differentiator that makes you stand out.
By working customer service into your marketing plans you can build more brand loyalty and longer lasting customer relationships that can have a big impact on your bottom line.
Customer service as a proactive marketing tactic
Did you know nearly two thirds of customers prioritise customer experience over price when making a purchasing decision, according to Harvard Business Review.
This essentially means that every touch point you have with a customer is an opportunity to convince them to buy from you, or could cause them to choose a competitor if your service isn’t as good.
It could be something as simple as not answering the phone when they call or making your website hard to navigate that could cost you a sale.
Instead, by focusing on the smaller elements of customer service, you can increase your marketing activity and build more loyalty.
Customer service builds brand loyalty
About 73% of customers say the experience they have when making a purchase can influence their buying decision, according to PwC.
If customers receive personalised, professional and effective support it makes them more likely to stay with you. This is because more customers value an experience that’s easier to deal with (and are willing to pay more for it) rather than risk going to a competitor when the experience is worse or it becomes harder to do what they want.
Customer service drives word of mouth marketing
How many times have you researched a product or service only to change your mind when a friend or family member says something like “I tried that once and it wasn’t very good”.
This is because as customers we’re easily swayed by the recommendations, or warnings, of other people who have used what we’re thinking about buying. Even if all our research tells us the product is what we’re looking for, a bad review from a friend can stop us buying it.
And this doesn’t just work for a few people. According to a study by Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over anything else.
Offering great customer service is a great tool for building word of mouth marketing by turning existing customers into brand advocates who will actively recommend you to others based on their own experience.
This not only wins you more customers organically, but does it a lot cheaper than paying more in marketing and advertising spend.
On the other-side, having a poor customer experience can just as easily cause people to warn friends and family against using your products and services.
Build a better reputation
If you think about it, customer service is a natural extension of your marketing because marketing is really just any interaction you have with a customer.
It’s not just the adverts you run or the content you put on a website, how you talk to customers, deal with their problems and help with enquiries all fits into your business’ perception and reputation.
You can have the slickest marketing in the world, but if your customer service is poor and customers don’t like dealing with you – they won’t.
By thinking about customer service in a wider context you can start to get a lot more benefits than just using it as a way to resolve complaints (you can just stop most complaints happening in the first place with better customer service).
Customer service could be your marketing’s secret weapon
Customer service isn’t just something that supports your business in answering customer questions, dealing with returns or handling complaints.
Used properly it can become a proactive and highly effective marketing tactic, helping not only retain existing customers and increase their lifetime value to your business, but turn existing customers into sales people for your company and encourage more people to use you (without you spending more on marketing and sales).
Whether it’s something as simple as using a telephone answering service to make sure you always have someone available to answer customer calls, or using Live Chat on your website so customers can find what they need more easily, all these little improvements in your service can have a big impact on your bottom line.
Give our team a call today on 0333 323 1007 or fill in the form (on the right) to start a 7-day free trial of our call answering service.
12th January, 2024
Posted by Face For Business