Do you remember your last interaction with an internet provider, auto technician, online retailer, or cell phone company? If you do, chances are good that you received outstanding service, or it was the most frustrating experience of the day.
The strong emotions we associate with positive and negative reactions affect what we do and don’t remember. The events of the day that caused us the most joy or frustration are the memories that we tend to hang onto, and they influence the decisions we make in the future. This phenomenon underlines the importance of providing top-notch customer service for business owners.
While branding and advertising experts may do a fantastic job of building a positive image for the company, that image can be tarnished or destroyed during a single off-putting conversation with a less-than-helpful customer service representative. These agents are responsible for daily interactions with customers and, in many cases, are the only face-to-face interactions your customers have with your company. They are also the first responders to customers’ problems.
The people you place on the front line to represent your company will have a measurable impact on the company’s short- and long-term success, which is why many employers choose to partner with a customer service staffing agency to recruit the best candidates for their customer service department.
The Benefits of Stellar Customer Service
1. Reduced Churn Rate
Nothing builds brand trust and loyalty like positive experiences with a company. Customers who have a good experience with a company or brand are more likely to become loyal supporters and repeat customers. In contrast, those who have a poor experience are likely to search for another provider for the same product or service.
Repeat sales to loyal customers cost a company very little. However, generating new leads and winning over new customers to replace lost sales can come with significant advertising and time costs. The cost of acquisition is always more than the cost of retention.
Many companies measure the value of a customer by the customer lifetime value (CLV). CLV is the revenue a company expects to gain from a single customer over the lifetime of that customer. Retaining current customers lengthens the customer’s lifetime and, therefore, the CLV, increasing the value of every loyal customer.
2. Better Employee Retention
While the connection between employee retention and customer service may seem less apparent, it is nonetheless crucial to understand. Working in customer service comes with many challenges. Agents regularly face difficult situations and customers who can be disagreeable or demanding. Providing the proper support and policies for these vital individuals can make their work easier and more fulfilling.
If customer service policies and procedures are customer-focused, they enable customer service agents to meet customer needs and expectations. Effectively solving customer problems can be rewarding and fulfilling. Their belief that the company has the customer’s best interests at heart leads to increased loyalty to the company and a desire to advocate for the company when speaking with customers.
3. Increased Competitive Edge
If two companies sell the same product at the same price, which one do you buy from? When you remove price as one of the purchasing criteria, what motivates people to buy from one company over another? Not surprisingly, customer service plays a significant role. Over 80% of customers reported being willing to pay more if they believed they would receive better customer service. Your ability to provide customers with a seamless onboarding experience or hassle-free return policy will make you the more attractive choice as a service provider. Customers who trust you are also more open to trying new products and services that bear your brand name.
4. Improved Brand Reputation
Customers rarely choose a business partner, healthcare provider, or product without reading the reviews first. The internet gives us access to the opinions of others in seconds. Your customers can instantly share their positive or negative experiences with your company with thousands of would-be customers. More than your social media profile or celebrity endorsement, your reviews online define your reputation.
Helpful customer service personnel help ensure that customers write rave reviews of your company and how they went out of their way to help solve a problem or right a wrong. After all, we are all more forgiving of mistakes if we trust they will be fixed. Building that trust is the vital first step.
5. Trusting Relationships
As customer-facing representatives of the company, customer service representatives have a unique opportunity to show the customer that the company is not entirely motivated by money – that they are also driven to provide customer satisfaction. They may become aware of common or persistent problems while solving customer problems. Getting out in front of these problems and offering customers a solution before they realize it is there is a show of good faith. Customers will feel supported by the company, building a relationship of trust with them.
While every department has a role to play in the success or failure of a company, customer service employees are the people your customers will interact with most often. These interactions will help frame opinions and perceptions of your products and services and the values you embrace. Hiring a recruiting firm to help staff your customer service department can help increase your chances of hiring the best people to be the face of your company with your customers.