Commerce in the digital space is certainly not an easy pursuit. Even when a business sells a single product online, it requires ten different departments. The paraphernalia consists of marketing, sales, social media, web development, customer service; and the list goes on.
All of them are undeniably essential to the smooth functioning, growth and success of a business. However, in today’s customer-centric world some divisions need more focus than others.
According to a report by PR Newswire, 56% of customers say that they would be willing to pay a premium price for a product in order to get outstanding customer support/service.
Customer service has emerged to become a prime area of attention for businesses and is as crucial as their core product/offering itself.
Where do you place customer service in the list of your business priorities? Read this post on the importance of efficient and friendly service and you shall have a clearer answer by the end of it.
What is customer service?
Customer service definition entails the assistance offered by your business to your customers before and after the purchase of products and services. It involves creating a gratifying experience for the customer along with solving their problems and obtaining feedback.
Why is customer service important
Here’s what makes the need for an excellent service crucial for your business.
1. Helps in customer retention
Customers turning away from your website or not buying your products because they did not appreciate your service/treatment is a rather disappointing situation, especially for an upcoming business.
Good customer service ensures that your buyers are satisfied with the resolutions offered and are likely to return to you for their purchases – eventually helping in customer retention.
Happy customers are more loyal to your brand, are open to trying more products and are likely to spend more money on your website.
Several statistics also point to the fact that retaining an existing customer is always cheaper than acquiring a new one. It can cost up to five times more to convert a new user.
2. Contributes to the brand image
Customer service can in many ways build the buyers’ impression about your business through their interactions, promptness, and solutions.
It is the only human interaction between your customers and the business. The team represents your brand and is your voice outside of the digital interface.
Businesses often try to create their image and personality through marketing campaigns, ads and other mediums on the internet. But this brand persona is further fortified for a customer when they interact and get a first-hand experience of your brand through your team.
73% of consumers love a brand because of helpful customer service. A business should hence use it to communicate its strengths and create better customer perceptions.
3. Sets you apart from the competition
For many successful businesses, their brilliant customer service is the differentiator that sets them apart from their closest competitor. Customers naturally compare platforms and customer service is one of the determining factors when deciding between two websites.
According to a research published by Microsoft, 90% of consumers globally believe that customer service is somewhat to very important in the choice of a brand.
In addition to retaining the existing users which we have discussed above, it is also easier to acquire your competition’s customers, if your service is top-notch.
When two businesses are in the same space and sell similar products, it is the teams such as customer service that help you win over the competition.
4. Improves your products/services
Your customer service team is interacting with your buyers every single day. The inputs and feedback they receive from the customers are extremely valuable for business improvement.
If you have a strong Customer Management System (CRM) in place it is possible to collect, analyse and efficiently implement the data and insights you receive from the buyers.
Gartner predicts that CRM technology will represent the largest area of enterprise software investment. Companies from small brands to large banks and consulting agencies are all increasingly turning to CRM.
All these customer insights help your business understand the major roadblocks, take initiatives towards improvements and consistently upgrade products and processes based on the feedback.
Careful examination of the data and inputs received from your customers helps businesses in shaping their strategies.
5. Increases sales and revenue
It is an established fact that great customer service encourages the buyer to return back to your website for future purchases. Repeat customers mean a steady contribution to your sales.
Bain & Company’s research states that businesses can grow revenues between 4% and 8% above their market when prioritising better customer service experiences.
With greater focus and planning, customer service can thus be an important contributor to sales. In fact, businesses also use their prompt customer service to justify their product values in the market.
What’s more, 67% of customers would pay extra to get better service from their buyer. This clearly states how much it matters to the business as well as the audience.
78% of customers will forgive a company for its mistake if they have received excellent customer service.
Additional benefits of a great customer service
Business longevity: The stability and long-term sustenance of a business lie in its happy clients, and quality service plays a great part in ensuring their satisfaction.
Opportunities to cross-sell and upsell: When the team is able to interact efficiently with your buyers, it can also upsell and cross-sell products with greater ease
Referrals: Positive referrals and word-of-mouth by your existing customers are a reflection of the good experiences that they have had not just with your product but also the service.
Brand awareness: People who interact with your team and are able to get a prompt response to their query will remember your brand owing to the pleasant experience they had.
Ease website interactions: If a customer is contemplating a purchase or faces difficulty during the process, an efficient team can motivate them to proceed with the transactions and solve any issues.
It is unthinkable for a business today to achieve growth or success without a streamlined customer service function. Numerous research articles, data and numbers on the internet indicate the significance of a strong customer-oriented team for any business.
Online businesses need to increasingly focus on ways to delight their customers at every stage of their interaction and realise the importance building a impactful team to enabling that experience.
Incorporating the customer service oriented details mentioned in this article can positively impact the perception of your buyers towards your business.