Customer service is a critical part of doing business in the 21st century, yet many businesses don’t pay enough attention to making their customers feel important. They assume it doesn’t matter all that much when in reality, poor customer service can break your business, even if your prices are more competitive than anyone else’s.
Customer Service Statistics
People are far more likely to tell the world about a bad customer service experience. Research conducted by American Express found that around 15 people talk about bad experiences whereas only 11 people will discuss a good experience. 33% of people will switch to another brand after a single instance of bad service and 51% of customers will never do business with that brand again. If that doesn’t scare you, it should.
We live in an age of social media. News travels exceptionally fast on Twitter, Facebook, and other channels. One outraged tweet about a terrible customer service #fail can easily go viral under the right circumstances. It’s not good PR when your business is trending on social media for all the wrong reasons.
A Customer-Centric World
The modern marketplace is customer-centric. Businesses need to rethink their customer service policy and start putting the customer first. Did you know that 85% of customers will pay more for better customer service? Yes, really!
Despite this, businesses consistently fail to put their customers first. They don’t have a dedicated customer service team. They don’t work at building a customer-centric business culture. They hire the wrong employees for customer-facing roles and they refuse to invest in the right training for employees who deal with customers.
Customer retention needs to be front and center of your business. Without customers, you don’t have a business, period. The happier your customers are, the more likely they are to keep coming back and spending money on your products and services. And as we have already mentioned, happy customers tell their friends.
How to Improve the Customer Service Experience
There are many ways to improve your business’s relationship with its customers. Listen to your customers and pay attention to feedback, good and bad. You can do this by asking customers to tell you about their experiences. Send out brief surveys after any interaction with them. Unhappy customers will usually tell you what went wrong and why.
Train your team. Ensure their communication skills are up to scratch. Front-line customer service employees need patience and empathy. It isn’t always easy dealing with aggrieved customers, so train employees to handle all kinds of difficult situations with grace and good humor.
Enhance your customer service interactions. Make it easy for customers to get in touch by whatever means necessary. For example, helpdesk software can help an IT company manage all its support in one place. Comprehensive solutions like this make it easier to keep track of support tickets and deal with issues quickly and effectively.
Finally, be proactive. If you feel your customer service fell short of what is expected of you, take responsibility and learn from your mistakes. Put policies in place to ensure it never happens again.