What is customer service?
Customer service is the support organizations offer or extend to customers before, during, and after buying the products or services. Customer service aims at making the customer buying journey and overall brand experience easy and enjoyable. Quality of customer service can make or break the brand image and customer perspective towards the organization. Organizations invest a huge corpus in enhancing the customer service standards and maintaining the same for customer retention, onboarding, and sustainability.
The dynamics and landscape of customer services have changed over time. In this day and age, it goes way beyond answering questions over the telephone or email. And, reflect in every effort or promise that brands make with their customers. Recent innovations have focused on automating customer service systems, but the human element is, in some cases, indispensable.
With the advancement of technology and the adaption of digital media platforms, brands need to make sure that they provide customer service consistently over social media, web, in-app, text messages, and chatbots to provide excellent customer service.
There's a key difference between customer support and customer service. Customer support is more about fixing a technical issue in the short term, but providing good customer service aims at building relationships and establishing a relationship in the long term.
Why is customer service important in business?
For any business to grow and win over their customers, it is of utmost importance to focus on customer service, apart from just developing and selling products and services. It can be a great competitive advantage for brands to earn more benefits through customer service, as it helps to retain customers and increase customer value. It also helps businesses recover customer acquisition costs and build a loyal following that enables businesses to acquire new customers and gain customer insight.
How customer service affects the success of the organization:
1. It Adds Value to your Product or Service
Developing and selling mere products and services are not enough to sustain the cutthroat competition and delight the customer base. It's equally important for businesses to focus on creating a brand value and image with outstanding customer service. A happy customer tends to pay more for a similar offering based o their experience with the brand.
2. Customer support has a direct effect on retention
Customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition. It is absolutely vital for any company both in terms of marketing and maintenance than landing a new one. Moreover, repeat customers will spend more money on each transaction. Over 90% of customers who are dissatisfied with your customer service experience will discontinue using the product or service, rather than telling you if something is wrong and how you can improve it. It is in the best interest of you, therefore, to provide consistently high-quality customer support, to boost your retention rate and your performance.
3. Excellent customer service is a competitive advantage
Nobody strives to be the "second-best" at something. Customer service for your business can be a huge distinguishing factor. In fact, 60% of customers stop doing business with a brand after one bad service experience. And, 67% of this churn is avoidable if the issue of the customer is addressed during the first contact. That means providing excellent customer service, will not only help retain customers but also acquire competitors' customers as well.
4. Increase in Profit and Revenue & Customer Lifetime Value
Happy customers create a snowball effect every time they refer our product and service to other customers influencing them to transact with us. Moreover, good customer service also helps existing customers engage more with brands by prioritizing your customer's welfare. Customer service also leads to trust and satisfaction that propel customers to enroll in programs and memberships, increasing the profits and revenue of the business.
5. Improvement Through Feedbacks and Responses
Change is the only constant. The business can gain customer insight and feedback through the customer service team and utilize it to improve the product offerings and customer service delivery. Also, when customers come around and realize that their suggestions have been implemented, they develop a sense of belonging and loyalty to the brand.
Types of customer service
There are multiple ways a business can interact with its customers and extend customer services. With emerging technology and digital transforming course of these interactions and engagements have changed over the period. Following the are possible means to offer customer services and create a connection with customers.
1. Walk-in or bricks-and-mortar customer service
This type of customer service is on the verge of extinction. Customers under this service method are supposed to visit the physical store to sort their grievances or get any other assistance.
2. Livechat or chatbot customer service
Customers can now opt-in and seek assistance and service over live chat or chatbots 24/7 at their fingertips. These chatbots can help customers at multiple touchpoints or buyer journeys.
3. Phone and email customer service
Phone and email services are useful for businesses that aim at creating a personal connection with their customers. For instance, the B2B market extensively uses emails to assist their services and finds it more professional than other means of customer service.
4. Self-service knowledge base
A self-service knowledge base works best for products and services that need the company's help to install or use certain products. Customers can refer to these knowledge bases and help themselves without dialing a number or waiting for emails.
5. On-site customer service
This type of customer service is offered right at the home or the workplace of a customer. On-site customer service can involve tasks such as installing a product at the site, annual maintenance, or product repairs.
6. Social media customer service
Social media is no longer a platform, limited to social interactions between friends and families. Today, every business needs to have a strong social media strategy as a single tweet is powerful enough to destroy a brand’s reputation. It becomes crucial for businesses to interact with their customer and respond to their queries on social media.
How does customer service affect sales?
Great customer service and support systems can create many up-sell opportunities. Keep your customers happy, and you’ll have a much easier time trying to get them to buy more from you. Not only are happy customers easier to sell to, but can also be the best source to refer to new customers. As we mentioned earlier, customer service can increase the customer lifetime value and customer loyalty. Customer service also enhances the customer experience during the customer buyer journey reducing churn or dropouts. Which ultimately add ons to the overall sales and profits.