Happy customers are key to a profitable company. It’s a basic tenant of business. There are two ways to make customers happy. The first is to provide an outstanding product or service that satisfies their expectations and needs — or even exceeds them. You can easily name companies who have taken that part of the equation seriously and raked in astounding profits. Yet there are just as many, if not more, stories of companies that have leveraged the second route: they provide outstanding customer service. And if your company can manage both, great product and great customer service, then the world may just be your oyster.
Figuring out the perfect product or service is the result of hard work, research, and adapting to the needs of your specific market. Customer service, on the other hand, is something that any business can excel at, if they are willing to do the work.
Customer Service Matters
Happy customers are loyal customers. That means they are more likely to turn to you when they need additional products and services rather than going to your competition. Even if your prices are higher, if you can convince a customer that doing business with you is enjoyable, they will come back again and again.
Conversely, if you have a good product and provide bad service, your customers won’t be happy. They won’t develop any loyalty to you. In fact, they may be all too eager to buy from someone else the next time. Here’s a few of the ways you lose money by providing a bad customer service experience:
- Employee time spent soothing disgruntled customers or simply listening to complaints about their experience. Lost work hours quickly add up to a negative in the profit-loss statement.
- Loss of repeat business. Every business knows that repeat customers are worth so much more than one-off buyers, and that it costs less to maintain an existing relationship than to attract new business.
- Loss of new customers. All it takes is one customer with a bad experience and a large social media following and your company or brand now has a bad reputation with hundreds or even thousands of potential customers.
- Marketing dollars spent to clean up the mess. If your bad customer service becomes public fodder, you may have to spend money hiring consultants and running a marketing campaign to restore your image. Even if you don’t have a public downfall, you will likely have to spend more advertising dollars to counteract the general dissatisfaction spread by those disgruntled customers.
Good Customer Service is Good Business
Want an example of what focusing on providing top customer service can do? Check out this video
Notice how it mentions the importance of building customer trust and that making customers feel valued leads to referrals. Remember how a bad customer service experience broadcast through social media can be devastating to your bottom line? Imagine that working in reverse: One or a dozen satisfied customers sharing on social media how they had an amazing customer service experience with your company can have an astounding effect.
Good customer service results in happy customers who are loyal and who become advocates for your brand. In essence, you are getting free marketing from these customers in the form of referrals, recommendations, and even online reviews. You can even raise your prices, because consumers will pay more for the same service or product if they know they are getting excellent customer service along with it. You outstrip your competitors and you get higher profit margins at the same time. Back at the office, your employees aren’t spending time fixing problems and you don’t have to hire anyone to clean up a mess, because there isn’t one. Best of all, studies have proven that employees with happy customers are happier themselves. That means better motivated employees and higher productivity.
Are you willing to do what it takes to get your company’s customer service to the next level?