Businesses pour so much energy into creating a great product or service and then marketing it to find customers and clients. But what happens when the product or service is delivered with a poor experience?
Simply put, all that energy doesn’t pay off—especially not with consumers’ expectations these days.
What a business offers is as important as how it’s delivered. And it’s not just about satisfaction or sales. Stellar customer service has amazing rebound effects in the form of referrals and repeat business. This is what makes it one of the most important factors in business growth, even more so than marketing.
Let’s explore why.
Why customer service is so important—now more than ever
Times are changing. Like, in big ways. Pretty much every day. Yet, the one thing businesses have total control of is also the one thing that’s become increasingly important. Talk about great timing! Here’s why customer service is more important than ever.
- Customer acquisition costs are high. Customer acquisition is harder (paid media rules and algorithms are constantly changing), more expensive (marketing costs are high), and less reliable (increased competition makes it easier to shop around). And it is much more expensive to find a new customer than to keep a great one around.
- Demographics are shifting. As younger generations take on more purchasing power, their attitudes toward customer service take precedence. These are generations that grew up alongside more convenient forms of communication that induce more immediate responses. From social media to website chat, these customers want access to companies on the platforms they’re already using.
- Personalization is a priority. While on the rise pre-pandemic, the past few years have catapulted a shift toward more personalized relationships between brands and customers, with 88% of customers expecting a personalized experience. Customers crave personal connections and authentic experiences from the companies they do business with.
How to maximize your customer service
Because customer service is so important, it’s equally important to do it right. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re maximizing your customer service rather than simply managing it.
1. Set the right expectations.
In 2022 especially—as the world faces staffing shortages and shipping delays—proactive communication with your customers about what they might expect before the initial engagement can set a foundation of trust. Plus, it will likely answer plenty of questions before people even have to ask.
2. Be responsive.
Did you know that
90% of consumers rate an immediate response as “important” or “very important” when they have a customer service question? That’s a big deal! This is why always-on omnichannel customer experience is now the norm. Customers expect to reach businesses on the platforms they’re already using, seeking help via social media, online chat, email, and others.
3. Keep it real.
Customers are looking to businesses for clarity and comfort. When situations grow difficult or complicated, businesses can’t disappear. And more than that, customers want to know they’re talking to a real human and having their concerns treated seriously. So, treat customers individually and talk to them that way, too.
4. Remain positive.
A friendly, professional tone, whether verbally or through writing, is key to making a great impression and creating a connection. Customers are coming to you for help and want to be met with positivity. Regardless of any potential limitations on the business side, communications should stay steadily positive until you find a solution.
5. Outsource it.
One easy, cost-effective way to maximize your customer service? Outsource it to the pros! Letting experts like virtual receptionists handle customer service for you helps you save time, money, and frustration while ensuring your customers are always happy.
Keep in mind that different businesses benefit from different outsourcing setups. Some work best with overflow or after-hours services, while others get the most from full-time coverage. For more information, read Ruby’s articles about using virtual receptionists full-time, part-time, or as a backup solution.