There are new products and services popping up every single day, with many of these companies selling the same exact thing. In this golden era, what really differentiates one company from another? What really drives a customer to purchase from one place over the next?
The answer is customer service.
It’s been a phrase that has been thrown around endlessly – but with good reason – it is more important than anything else. If you own or want to own your own business, you must ensure that you and your employees are providing the best experience to your customers. One in three consumers (32%) say they will walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience. In the U.S., even when people love a company or product, 59% will walk away after several bad experiences, 17% after just one bad experience (PwC, 2018).
Here are some reasons why customer service is so important:
- Great customer service builds brand awareness and improves public persona. Your reputation and how you are perceived as a company relies heavily on positive reviews from word of mouth. What customers say to others will make or break you. A few negative reviews between friends can possibly put you out of business. When you provide great customer service, your customers will naturally spread the word and your brand to people that they know. Word of mouth advertising is priceless – conversations between people are more genuine than flyers or online ads.
- Customer service trumps cost. People are willing to pay more if it is guaranteed that they will get a better experience. The chart below shows what people value most in relation to this. Efficiency, convenience, knowledgeable and friendly service and easy payment were what customers said was most important but also worth paying more for.
- The best customer service builds trust. Because there are companies vying for attention, people won’t stay loyal unless they have good reason to. They will buy from a company that is offering the best deals or that have a special promotion. Small businesses have to work hard to keep customers, especially against bigger juggernauts. By providing great customer service, people are more likely to stay loyal and less likely to take off. You’re more likely to retain your customers for longer.
- Problems are lessened. Problems are always going to arise for any business no matter how hard you try to avoid them. However, if customers know that they can have their issues heard and handled, they feel more comfortable in choosing your company.
If you don’t have excellent customer service, you won’t get far in your business. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers, strive to be the best for them and you will be rewarded tenfold.