We live in a consumer-driven world. If you want to experience it first hand, drop by at an automobile showroom or a premium electronics retail chain. Feel important? Of course, you do. A team of sales representatives guiding you about the product, answering your endless questions, and constantly ensuring your comfort, makes you feel important. But what are they selling to you? Is your relationship as their customer over with the swipe of your credit card? If not, then what happens next? Why do most companies never ask that question?
The answer is simple, and as in most cases, simplicity is extremely baffling. It tends to hide from plain sight and send you chasing the wrong answers or even the wrong questions. When a customer makes a purchase, you are not selling them just the product, but also your brand. A customer trading his hard-earned money to buy your product trusts your brand to give back value for the money. In most cases, the product is spot on; yet the business fails to retain customers. The reason behind this usually is poor customer service.
Why is good customer service so crucial?
Businesses lose billions every year to poor customer service. Every one of those billion makes a billion reasons to deliver an excellent customer experience. But to save your precious time and drive home a point, we have narrowed down the essentials to a few key factors:
Happy customers are your brand ambassadors
Companies that spend a ton on marketing or branding and shrink their budget for customer service end up struggling to sustain revenues. Companies often overlook that marketing and customer service have two different audiences. Marketing creates new customers while customer service retains old customers. As it turns out, keeping old customers who have already bought your product or service is much easier than finding new ones. It is also the easier one in the pockets!
Top-quality customer service is made possible by paying attention to detail, making informed decisions, understanding your customers' needs, and having a crew of highly skilled personnel. A delighted customer is also free marketing for your business. Customer reviews and feedback about a product or service are nothing short of judgment in the eyes of new prospects on the journey to make a purchase. Positive feedback from happy customers can do a lot more to get new customers than a steep increase in your marketing budget. Companies that slack on customer service have higher customer acquisition costs or marketing budgets.
Customer service is your window to the outside world
Your customer service center is also a window offering your business a view of the outside world. Companies that keep the windows open can know the happenings outside. Your business rests on your understanding of the customers more than any fancy marketing, accounting, finance, business strategy, or anything else. Customer contact centers serve as the interface between the company and the customer, as brand ambassadors representing the business values and conveying the company goodwill.
Customer service also receives customer goodwill along with an immense volume of data. Every customer complaint, query, or call is information flowing into the customer service management system. Companies can gain valuable insights by churning and munching this data using cutting-edge tools like machine learning or data analytics. The insights gained from customer data are profits brought to your table by your customers in the form of product improvements, process improvements, elimination of bottlenecks, and streamlining of operations that benefit your business in the long run.
Customer service improves margins
The biggest mistake struggling companies make is to think of customer care as a cost taking money out of the bottom line. Nothing can be further from the truth. These are usually the businesses that fail to achieve product differentiation and engage in a downward spiral of cost-cutting tactics. Instead of going down this path, companies can leverage quality customer service as a marketing factor to differentiate their product. What’s more, customers will happily pay you more for your product.
Studies suggest that 67% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. People inherently like to feel important and enjoy interacting with others who make them feel so. A brand that makes its customers feel important retains their customers and gets new ones too. Creating and delivering a stellar customer experience is a superb way of doing just that.
Attaining competitive advantage
Most companies think they have a competitive advantage but don't. Many people think they know what a competitive advantage is but don't. They mix a business plan like branding, product launch, or cost reduction with a competitive advantage. Competitive advantage is difficult to get and the reason is that it's not just one plan or one move that gets you there. It's a series of plans and moves that work together to place your business in a unique position in the market. Competitive advantage is the strategic positioning of your business that cannot be copied or recreated by competitors, by adopting several strategies.
Achieving competitive advantage is like finding a gold mine, and a spectacular customer experience can help you attain it. By linking your customer service management with overall business goals and objectives, companies can develop strategies that focus on the customer and place the business in a unique segment in the industry that is difficult to replicate and compete with on cost. The customer service center acts as the feedback mechanism that feeds information into the overall business strategy straight from the customers and helps you formulate sound business strategies.
Putting it all together
Delivering the best in customer experience is vital for any business. By doing so, you can increase market share and drive business improvements in a very cost-effective manner. It would be foolish to ignore the power of customer goodwill and what it can do for the business. Customer engagement and a customer-centric approach should be the pillars of modern business in this consumer-driven world.
At Wolken, we have been helping several reputed brands in the industry get an edge in delivering the best customer service. Wolken envisions a future of technology-enabled high-quality customer service in all segments and is driven to empower this vision. Our team has worked with many happy clients whom we helped deliver world-class customer experience using our products. Get in touch with our team to explore more about how we can help your business.