When I think ‘Customer Services’ I am immediately consumed by horrible memories of queuing. Be it on the end of the phone with some one hit wonder playing on repeat in an attempt to soothe my mood, or whilst standing much to my feet’s detriment as they merely get to shuffle forward every five minutes, they tend to be experiences I would rather forget.
And it is with far too much regularity that I find my disgruntledness at the ineptness of said ‘Customer Services’ manifesting itself through a sigh big enough to evoke an earthquake…or at least loud enough to convey the message that I am not impressed!
So why is it that we only really remember the times when we have received bad customer service? Is it because bad customer service is dished out far more readily than good customer service? Or is it that we relay our horror stories to so many of our friends that they seem to stick in our memories with more resonance? Fear not there is hope, it’s the latter.
Dissatisfied customers tell 12 people how bad their experience was
as opposed to
Happy customers telling only 4 other people if their experience was good
When it comes to business and gaining a reputation, your customers are amongst the most critical and influential parties you would ever want to please. Much like a bad review from a revered critic can take down a restaurant in one fell swoop, unfavourable reviews, testimonials and word of mouth experiences from ‘Joe Public’ can have just as catastrophic an effect on your business.
A whopping 93% of customers indicated that quality customer service was vital to maintain their brand loyalty
68% of customers would stop doing business with a company because of poor service
Just think of all the time you spend, not to mention the money, on customer acquisition, targeted offers and personalised mail. This is you building a relationship with your customers and showing them that, yes, they have made the right choice and, yes, you are the right company for them. It is therefore in your best interests to constantly give exceptional customer service, especially when you consider that;
It is 6-7 times more expensive to gain a new customer than it is to retain an existing one
Nowadays there is so much choice for the discerning customer and with most companies trying to outdo each other with welcome offers, new customer reductions and discounted start up packages, company loyalty is becoming a thing of the past. Especially in the current economic climate.
But being proactive with your customers still stands for an awful lot with a simple recognition if you have done something wrong coupled with an apology making all the difference in most cases as;
Nearly 95% of dissatisfied customers would continue to do business with a company if their problem was solved quickly and satisfactorily
But it is not solely for reputation or who has the largest customer database purposes that good customer service is advocated amongst businesses, it can make considerable financial sense too. Retaining customers as opposed to having to acquire new ones to account for those that have left can increase profits, with companies that make customer service a priority seeing greater return on investment.
I am not suggesting that you roll out the red carpet, perfect your curtseys or bows and greet every one of your customers with a polite handshake, I am simply reiterating the importance of good old fashioned manners and how it can take you a long way.
I bet the next time you go shopping now you will be keeping score of how good the customer service team are.
Anyway, that’s enough from me for one day, next week’s blog is going to be on perception. Or more specifically, how potential customers perceive you through your marketing.