Have you ever received bad customer service and felt, No way, I am never going back there again?! I have and I am positive every person reading right now can relate to at least one instance of bad customer service. What do you do as a customer at this point; give them benefit of the doubt, stay quiet, never return or perhaps write a bad review? If you are any one like me, you do all latter three options! You remember the half-hearted service that was once provided and choose to go elsewhere with better service.
Customers are Core to any Business…
Customer service is often under-valued in many start-ups and businesses. A study by U.S. Small Business Administration claims 68% of customers leave because they are unhappy with the treatment they received. Most of us who own and operate businesses understand how valuable customer satisfaction actually is. A business failing to provide customer satisfaction is preventing itself from future growth and expansion. An unsatisfied customer reacts in various ways, they keep quiet and replace you with your competitor, complain, spread negative review and write a bad review on social media. All of which are terrible publicity of your business. For instance, it is shown 96% of these customers will remain silent and walk over to your fellow competitor for their specialties and each negative word of mouth will earn you 26 extra unhappy customers. This means you are losing revenue because it’s cheaper to retain customers then acquire new ones.
I know your business is your baby, but your business not unique! Anyone who has a business has at least one competitor. Happy customer rule number 1 – Find a Point of Differentiation. For example, Apple fans are loyal because they value the quality of the product. Add value to your service and product such as quality or additional features which distinguishes the business from its competitor. This can be easily achieved by training customer service or the sales representatives to be more engaging with the client as they build a relationship. First impression is the last impression, the reps are the face of the company as they are the ones to interact with the client directly. Customer service reps should have in depth knowledge about the product. They should have the pleasant personality and guess what, being funny always works! Thorough training on communication and client relationship will help the reps become more confident and in turn this will build client’s trust.
Happy customer rule number 2 – focus on Retention. Do you want your customers to come back over and over? Treat your existing customers, offer them with promotions, discounts and credit. Blog your products, send them emails and newsletters. Tell them they are valued and show them how much you saved them at the end of the year by giving away freebies, promotions or discounts.
Happy customer rule number 3 –Word of mouth. This is an important one, some businesses run solely based on word of mouth to build brand awareness. Remember, 1 unsatisfied customer equals 26 unsatisfied customer just by word of mouth. As good customer service appeals to new customers, word of mouth will raise your network of clients. Grow your exposure, make sure your business has a Website, Facekbook page, Instagram, Snapchat, Tweeter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Youtube, Google+ and any other social media they can use to easily ask you a question.
Happy customer rule number 3 –Track your customer behavior/Track customer service performance. No don’t follow them home! To have a point of differentiation you have to stay one step ahead of your competitors. To do that you need feedback from your customers, this is called Benchmarking. Give your customers a little survey and a feedback to complete after a phone call or by email. Statistics show, 60% of customers don’t like phone calls and 75% prefer text or email. This will help you evaluate where your competitors are doing well and you need improvement.
Calculate the churn rate, in other words the turnover rate of your clients. To calculate churn rate: number of clients lost / number of clients in the beginning of the month = % percentage. This will help you determine your growth potential as a company and also tell you if you will get a return on your marketing cost.
Monitor your customer service team’s performance and provide them quality training. Many businesses make a mistake of treating their customer service team as a complete different department. The back end workers does not want to have anything to do with the front line. Let’s change our perspective, the whole company is in customer service. If you are providing a back end software upgrade for a customer’s product, you are providing customer service. Perhaps you are applying for a mortgage approval, then the mortgage broker sends the paper work to the banks Documentation department and the Credits department who are in line is serving you as a customer. Therefore, a smooth transition in process will give you a faster result and make you happy.
Good customer service reduces problems. So let’s make everyone a happy customer…