What is customer service?
Customer service is an organization's responsibility to give assistance and advice to those people who buy or use its products or services.
Customers require support previously, during, and most importantly, post making a purchase. In this era, it is important to offer proactive customer service if you want to retain your customers and grow your business.
Today’s customer service goes way beyond traditional telephone support. It’s available via email, web, text message, and of course, social media. The companies have started to be present on all channels or mediums as to wherever their customers are present in order to provide excellent customer service.
Many companies also provide self-service support 24*7, so customers can find their own answers at any time day or night. Customer support is more than just providing answers; it's a significant part of your brand's commitment to its customers.
Importance of customer service.
Customer service can be one of the biggest competitive advantages for a brand. It is also important to your business since it helps retain customers and extracts more value from them. By providing excellent customer service, businesses recover customer acquisition costs and also builds a loyal following that helps acquire new customers, serves as case studies, and provides testimonials and reviews.
How customer service affects the success of the organization:
- 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. So, if you want to make sure your revenue and retention rates are high, it is mandatory to provide amazing customer service. In fact, 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.
- Excellent customer service is a competitive advantage
Nobody strives to be the "second-best" at something. You want to be better than every competitor of yours and you want your customers to know it, too. This is thus important to maintain loyal customers and to get them to engage with your company continuously. 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' as well.
- Customer support impacts your company’s reputation
Customer service represents your brand image and values. You may have an idea of what your brand represents but your customers don’t. They'll make assumptions based on your social media presence and other advertisements. Unfortunately, when it comes to support services, bad news goes quickly and far. This means that it’s worth taking the time to address any issues that your users have. It will enhance your company’s reputation, leading to adding more customers via word of mouth in the future.
- Customer support can help attract new customers
While a sterling reputation could lead to customer loss, it is true that a good reputation for customer support will actually attract new business. This way, you not only attract new customers and make more money just from word of mouth, but you also ensure that your support services are in top shape. It's a chain reaction. If you have a positive customer service team, they'll be functioning harder to meet and satisfy your customers' needs.
- Happy customers spend more
Customers are willing to pay more to enterprises that provide better customer service. After a positive customer service experience, 50% of customers increase their purchases with a brand. If the customer builds an emotional experience during a purchase with your company, it will directly impact how much money they are willing to spend. In fact, 70% of buying experiences are based on how he or she feels she is being treated. Therefore, you can make the clients feel comfortable and valued by focusing on the quality that their support team provides, which directly affects sales.
How has customer service changed?
Over the years the customer service industry has changed and here's how:
- Technology: Earlier there was only one channel of communication, now there are multiple channels through which customers can reach out at. They can get in touch through phone, web, chat, email, or social media. Technology is helping the business provide 24 x7 customer service, and operate in a strong technological framework thus handling multiple workflows.
- Personalization: With major advancements in technology has made customers experience personalized engagement, with the use of big data and analytics. For instance, analyzing customer background, such as demographics and purchase history can help customer service representatives to provide personalized services to customers.
- Time is Money: Customers want easy and quick assistance and access to information. The inability to respond to your customers on time, will lead to them finding other options. Quick customer service impresses your customers and sticks them to your business so that they don’t have to look for a viable alternative as their issues are solved on time.
- Ownership Change: Now the customers can decide their preferences, and companies interested in social selling are listening to their customer’s voices. Research states 79% of customers tend to trust online reviews compared to personal recommendations. Companies monitor social interactions so that they can obtain as much information as possible in order to better understand them and serve better.
- Reputation Management: It is a vital part of customer service. A satisfied customer might give your business tons of word of mouth referrals, but an unhappy customer will use social media to tell the world about their disturbing experience. To avoid such situations, regular social media monitoring can help companies to manage their reputation. Customer service has now extended to multiple channels and providing social care to your customers is truly important.
- Customer Centricity: Companies see client experience as an upper hand. To have a competitive edge, concentrating on client-driven KPI is necessary to provide the best customer service.
How does customer service affect sales?
As the SaaS space continues to grow, churn rate is becoming increasingly important. IT companies rely heavily on the retention of customers in order to generate revenue. Simply put, they can’t afford to lose existing customers.
Customer service obviously plays a vital role in reducing churn rate and retaining and acquiring new customers. But it impacts more than just the churn rate — it impacts sales.
Great customer service 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.
Think about it: if you have a stunning experience with a brand, later that night you'll probably talk about it to your friends over dinner. It's natural; you want your people close to you to commit to a brand you trust.
At the end of the day, customer service has a huge impact on the sales process. Improving your customer service team is worth taking the extra effort.