There was a time when customer service existed only for complaint resolution, which was its main function. But that’s no longer true.
Today, customer service matters, even critical to a business’ survival. Indeed, it has transformed into a business’ backbone. It can also become one of the most significant deal-makers or deal-breakers for an organization’s customers.
The competition in today’s business world is so fierce that customer expectations have gone up by leaps and bounds. A customer can easily switch over to your competitor if you do not meet their expectations.
Customer support means giving the topmost priority to your customers always and ensuring their happiness with an enjoyable, recognizable, and smooth customer experience. Several customer success managers and brand owners today claim that a positive customer experience is the most powerful marketing tool in the hands of a brand.
Customer Service – Now and Then
Previously, customer support or customer service was regarded as a department to assist customers through the entire purchasing process from start to end. Additionally, some businesses felt that the customer service division was a dormant or reactive one. It means, the department would only take a stand after the customer lodged a complaint or had some issues with a business.
However, today, it is much more than simply providing traditional customer support through telephone calls. Businesses today have innumerable communication channels. A company’s customer service executives can be accessed through so many channels. Some of these channels are live chat, e-mail, text messages, and social media platforms.
Additionally, organizations that are serious about boosting their revenue discover that customer support has a much bigger role to play apart from solving problems of customers and answering their queries. It is also about the association and the experience customers have with a brand.
As customer experience is today a team effort, many more departments have become an essential part of customer servicing. Also, from logistics to marketing, several customer queries need the collaboration of multiple departments and moving that extra mile.
Role of Customer Service in Business Success
It is a known fact that businesses today are more competitive than they used to be in the past. Earlier, customers made up their minds to purchase a product based on locations or prices. However, today with the growth of the Internet, customers concentrate on their experience with the organization or brand more than ever before.
Research shows that 90 percent of people in the U.S. use customer service quality as a major factor to decide to buy from that organization. When a business offers superb customer care, it can bring down customer churn and boost customer retention. Additionally, businesses with fantastic customer service culture can also enjoy the support of their loyal customers as their brand ambassadors. All these customers will happily recommend your services or products to their co-workers, friends, and families. Customer advocacy and word of mouth is the most precious marketing tool though it costs very little.
Bad Customer Service Significantly Affect Customer Experience
A survey conducted by Microsoft claimed that over 1/5th of a company’s customers do not consider their feedback will be noticed. Avoid being one of such businesses, particularly because the association between customer experience and customer service is very strong. Any bad or good action from the customer service department can reflect on many customer experiences.
It is true that customer service has always been a crucial component of any business. However, today, it is of the highest priority. Businesses are being launched every other day and it is natural that they have to stand out in the crowd to be successful.
When a business has excellent customer service, it helps a business to achieve this goal. It has loyal and satisfied customers who vouch for them. Plus, social platforms are in now so even a single negative review can be detrimental to your business growth. If you always put your best foot forward, customers will certainly stick to your side.
On the other hand, customer experience happens to be a journey, which sums up the entire customer interaction that takes place with your organization or brand. The journey of a customer starts with their first interaction with the business and is a never-ending one. Customer experience starts from purchasing to product delivery and much more. It is a measurement of a customer’s feelings about a company. Such feelings typically have distinct connections like emotional, psychological, and physical connections.
It is imperative to note that bad or substandard customer service can create a dent in your reputation in the market. However, positive customer service can help in boosting the reputation of your brand. One of the most negative side effects of substandard customer service is a high rate of customer churn.
Apart from the high churn rate of customers, other side-effects and indicators of poor customer service are as follows:
- The best support executives start leaving your organization
- Customer lifetime value may drop quickly
- The lead conversion rate has a sharp dip
- Bad news tends to spread more rapidly than good ones
However, there is no one-fit formula of good customer service, which can help in your business growth. That’s because each industry and business comes with its own unique problems and customer requirements. An entrepreneur has to track the most appropriate solutions and come out with solutions without compromising their customer service quality and customer experience.
A few popular examples of lousy customer service include delaying customer requirements and overlooking the voice of the customer.
Customer Service Builds Customer Relationship
We will all agree that customer service refers to creating successful customer relationships and to achieve that goal, teamwork is crucial. It has a layered department for a simple reason – it is not about simply offering assistance to the customers of a business. Customer service also contributes significantly to the overall strategic plan of a business.
The customer service team not only assists customers in solving a particular problem but also in exchanging ideas, gathering customer feedback apart from increasing the service or product value. Such a relationship is more customer-centric and less business-centric. For instance, customer support gives focuses on customer satisfaction and needs in the first place.