Why Is Customer Service So Important in Today’s Competitive Marketplace?
Today’s marketplace is highly competitive, and oftentimes a great product alone isn’t enough to ensure success. Customers will be more likely to stick with your brand if they’ve had a positive experience with your overall customer service, but why is this personal touch more important than ever before? Keep reading to find out five compelling reasons why your small business needs to excel in this department.
1. The numbers don’t lie: customer service matters
According to a 2011 survey from American Express, 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience. That’s a big number! Simply put, if you aren’t providing make-you-smile customer service, you’ve likely lost out on profits.
2. Poor customer service affects employees, too
Customer service impacts more than just the customers — if you have employees, they can also be negatively impacted by poor service.
InfusionSoft used Comcast as an example of how poor customer service can impact employee morale. The company has a huge problem with turnover, and it’s not a stretch to guess that dealing with angry customers all day has an impact on that. High turnover costs businesses substantial amounts of time and money, and only makes an already bad customer service situation worse.
Small businesses depend on loyal customers who become brand advocates, but how do you find these raving fans? It’s simple — wow them with excellent customer service. If you can answer their questions, solve their problems, and understand their needs, you’ll be on the right track.
Consumers are likely to return to businesses that they feel “get” them, so demonstrate your understanding and expertise in a helpful way. Some business owners are using virtual assistant services to provide customer support while they're busy running their operations.
4. With social media, poor customer service can be broadcast to the world
Your customers probably have social media accounts... and they aren’t afraid to use them when greeted with abysmal customer service. Your small business likely can’t afford a negative online reputation, so don’t give customers something to complain about to their followers, especially since they may have a large and captive audience.
But remember, you can also use social media to deliver excellent customer service, which gives you even more control over your business’s brand image.
5. Customer service may be even more important than price
In a market where costs are often similar amongst products and services, providing fantastic customer service could be the tipping point in your small business success. The U.S. News and World Report Money blog even promoted the idea of service mattering more than price, and it’s not difficult to understand why — your customers want to be treated like real people, by real people.
If you can show that you’re committed to that philosophy, your customers will return to do business with you time and time again.