When it comes to business, customer service is one of the most important factors in retaining past customers, as well as converting casual visitors into loyal customers.
While customer service has always been important to the success of a business, the internet has caused an increasing need for excellent customer service, as customers can now leave reviews and testimonials on the web for other potential customers to see; while positive reviews as a result of great customer service can help any online business immensely, negative reviews can have the opposite impact – in fact, a seemingly small number of complaints about customer service can become enough of a problem to warrant fewer sales and lost customers.
While it’s no secret that customers do not want to work with businesses offering poor customer service, many companies are unsure of exactly how big that impact may be. According to HelpScout 86 percent of customers will quit doing business with a company due to poor customer service, and just under half of all customers will only reach out to customer support teams more than once to have a problem resolved or a question answered. What does this mean for your business? If your customers cannot reach your support teams on the first try, you’ve very likely lost a customer – potentially, for good.
Unfortunately for business owners, customer service is a rather broad and vague term, and can mean many different things to different people; for example, roughly 40 percent of customers believe excellent interaction with employees will encourage them to spend more, and 73 percent stated that rude staff were enough to drive them away from a purchase. But what does “excellent interaction” and “rude staff” typically mean for your average customer?
In the end, customers want to feel cared for, and they want to know that companies are paying attention to their needs. In fact, 8 out of 10 consumers in the United States claim that they will pay more for a product if it means better customer service, showing just how important great customer service is in order to make sales. In addition, just under 80 percent of online customers stated that great customer service is enough for them to recommend a brand or product to a friend, meaning that an excellent customer experience for one person will very likely lead to more sales.
When a company does not deliver up-to-par customer service, they are not only losing existing customers, but are reducing their chances of bringing in new customers. Bad customer service is one of the easiest ways to drive away existing and potential customers, however just 10 percent of online merchants deliver superior customer service, according to the Annual Mystery Shopping Study – compare this with the 80 percent of companies who believe they deliver superior customer service, and the problem becomes very clear.
Loyal customers are the foundation of any successful business, and poor customer service is one of the easiest ways to lose loyal customers.
Remember that both good and bad customer reviews go a long way, and taking the extra steps to deliver a terrific service experience will greatly pay off in the end, for both your company and the customer.