Professional Customer Service Increases Trust and Loyalty
When it comes to customer service, there are two major ways of thinking. Businesses will generally try to be as present and comprehensive as possible or try to reduce costs as much as possible. These two modes of thought each have their origins in abstract appreciations of value. Businesses that subscribe to the former see customer service as an asset, whereas businesses that subscribe the latter see customer service as a cost.
When customer service is a cost, it becomes difficult to justify in terms of the value it generates. There is no incentive to treat customers any better than is strictly necessary. This leads to long call-waiting queues, automated systems, and opaque bureaucracy.
When customer service is an asset, businesses have a critical incentive to constantly improve it. The more personalized and transparent it is, the better customers respond and more reputable your business becomes.
But as good as this sounds, it is only useful if you can measure it. This is why many businesses still neglect to treat customer service as an asset. However, it turns out that with today’s data gathering capabilities, you can measure customer service ROI with greater accuracy than ever before.
Measuring Customer Service ROI Pays Off
Business leaders who accept that customer service really does drive sales can put methods in place for measuring the return that customer service investment produces. The key to doing this is implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system that allows you to quantify the value of individual customer interactions and outreach campaigns. You may also consider using a customer experience metrics solution to grow your business. Visit sites like https://www.qualtrics.com/customer-experience/nps-software/ to know more.
You wouldn’t be the first to try this. The data is quite clear on how increasing customer loyalty and trust produces value for businesses. For instance, the Harvard Business Review found that satisfied customers have a tendency to return to businesses and spend an average 140-percent more than those who have poor experiences.
But there’s more to the customer service equation than the fact that happy customers are more likely to return to businesses who treat them right. The fact is that unhappy customers cost businesses more, on average, than satisfied ones.
A study by Inc.com shows the direct benefits of actively keeping customers happy:
- Customers are three times more likely to share negative experiences with friends.
- It takes between 10 and 12 positive social media reviews to offset a single negative one.
- 59-percent of customers are willing to try new brands to get better customer service.
- For Seattle restaurants, a single star on Yelp is worth five-to-nine-percent of the restaurant’s total revenue.
Essentially, losing customers to bad experiences costs much more than the loss of a single transaction. Human beings are social creatures, and few things ignite conversation more readily than a bad customer service experience.
Use Customer Service to Establish Loyalty and Trust
It is a well-established fact that customer service can produce returns far beyond its initial cost. Furthermore, bad customer experiences can cost large amounts of money in the age of social media. But businesses don’t always agree on exactly what great customer service looks like. They don’t always agree on what customer service ROI means, either.
The key to using customer service to bolster the value of your company’s offerings is to create and test hypotheses about your customers using the data they give you. Your customers are a unique set of individuals who have unique goals that you help them solve.
When you identify the part you play in their lives, you are better able to meet their expectations. Nonetheless, there are some simple truths that are almost universal in the management of customer relations:
- Customers Don’t Like Automated Interactions. Telephone robots, auto-callers, email spam, and junk mail are universally unwelcome among customers in every industry. Customers who take the time to call wish to be treated with the same respect by a human being on the other end of the line.
- Customers Do Like Automated Processes. When customers fill out web forms to find out if they qualify for a service or solution you offer, they appreciate instant results. This is where automation – in the form of process optimization – makes a significant difference.
- Customers Demand Personalized Service. In today’s “me-first economy,” customer generalizations just don’t work anymore. Businesses need to engage their customers on an individual level and develop solutions for serving their unique needs.
These facts are already established truths in the world of consumer retail and e-commerce. They are not quite yet enjoying widespread adoption in the B2B sector, though. This presents a unique opportunity for B2B businesses looking to increase their customer service ROI.
Are you ready to do business with a trusted and loyal partner? Call Smile and find out how we can help you!