Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that good customer service is an extra that’s mainly of benefit to the customers themselves. However, it’s extremely important for your business too, and it translates to money in the bank. Although you might have a strong feeling that this is true, you may not have been able to sum it up clearly, so let’s look at some facts and figures that demonstrate why customer service is important to a business.
Before we do that, let’s talk about the basic purpose of customer service. Your customer service agents are there to help your clients feel as if they were well-treated. Recognised as individuals, and that help was at hand when they needed it. So far, so simple. Your customers walk away feeling good. But why is that so vitally important to you?
Why is Customer Service Important to a Business? The Facts
Lower Customer Acquisition Costs
It’s an accepted theory that it costs you five times as much to gain a new customer than it does to get repeat business. Some companies report new customer acquisition costs as being eight times as high as getting a converted customer to buy again, so that’s pretty conservative.
If you’re wondering what repeat business means to you in financial terms, the answer may be easy to find if you have good customer records or engage in e-commerce. Your analytics should tell you how many buyers purchase more than once. Whether they do so depends on their customer service experience each time they support you.
Referrals can be harder to pin down. They’re even more important, and they also come from converted customers. Supposing that you give your customers great service and good products, your business becomes memorable. When someone compliments them on the results they’ve achieved by using your products or services, or mentions that they’re looking for something similar, your customers will be happy to mention your name. It’s in our nature to be helpful to one another, and by recommending your business after a good experience, your customers feel as though they’ve helped their friends or associates.
The results can be exponential. If one customer tells three friends about you, and they each tell three of their friends, and so on, you can build unstoppable momentum.
It’s not just direct referrals that can help you. If you’ve ever written a review for a business after a particularly pleasant transaction, you’ll know that complete strangers are likely to read it. If your review is positive, you’re helping to build “social proof” that says: “This is a good company to work with.” Consumers are sceptical about what you say about your own business, but they lend much greater credence to third-party reviews. Those positive reviews might just be the deciding factor that converts a new customer, and if you use the opportunity to deliver excellent customer service, you win yet another supporter.
Employee Retention and Recruiting
Employees like to feel that they work for a “good” company. All jobs have their share of frustrations, but the ultimate reward is to see their efforts getting appreciated by end-users. If the company for which they work consistently fails to serve its customers well, employees become dissatisfied, are less concerned about quality and efficiency, and are more likely to move on. We all want to believe that what we do adds value to society.
By the same token, a business that has built a good customer service reputation is more likely to acquire the best talent when recruiting. For example, Tesla, which offers superb customer service and is known for innovation, is a highly sought-after employer in the jobs market.
Builds a Great Company Culture and Strengthens Your Brand
Excellence breeds excellence. Nobody wants to be the one to “let the side down.” When companies have a reputation for taking the high road, employees will see delivering excellence as a priority. That, in turn, strengthens your ability to deliver, and builds your brand’s public image.
Getting Customer Service Right Requires Focus – and Focus Can be a Problem
Now that we’ve touched on the main reasons why customer service is important to a business, the next logical question is how to achieve it. There are no shortcuts. Good customer service generates returns, but there are no returns without investment.
That can pose a knotty problem for companies, especially when they’re doing business globally on a fairly large scale. If a client wants service at 1 AM your time, there had better be someone to pick up the phone or respond to the chat – and they’d better be good at what they do. Your brand image is at stake, and so is all that revenue from customer retention, repeat purchases and referrals.
Most businesses succeed because they’re great at producing goods and services, and that’s where most of the focus lies, but no matter how good you are at what you sell, the customer service element can’t be ignored.
So, Mrs Brown’s call for help in the small hours of the morning isn’t a priority for you, and appointing your own agents to be on standby isn’t an option, but putting her enquiry on hold until someone can get round to it isn’t going to give you that great reputation for customer service. It could even make you look uncaring, and Mrs Brown (and others like her) are more powerful than you might have realised. She wants instant gratification. In her shoes, wouldn’t you?
Should You Entrust Customer Service to an Outside Entity?
Having concluded that customer service is hugely important for any business, you might be justifiably hesitant to outsource it. But the questions remain. Do you have the capacity? Do you have the focus? Do you have professional customer service agents who can deliver that awesome impression you’d love to create?
Outsourcing to a professional company that exists purely for the sake of assisting customers at any time of the day or night could be the answer. But it depends on whom you choose. There are plenty of agencies willing to pick up the phone on your behalf, or dive into a chat window when your bots can’t handle the problem, but will they deliver the high-quality experience you want for your customers?
RSVP has the solutions you need, and we’re proud of the fact that our unique approach to customer service has you covered. RSVP’s Customer Service and Support is based on the concept of having highly-invested, high-quality operatives who are sufficiently well-briefed to communicate as if they were your employees.
Our London-based call centre have been delivering superb 24/7 customer service to clients from almost every imaginable niche for many years. We handle your routine customer enquiries with ease, and report back to you on recurring and unique issues so that you can take appropriate action. Instead of managing a team, it’s like having one employee who does it all: easy to manage, in love with promoting your success, and able to keep you informed while impressing your customers with the amazing service they always wanted but never expected.