Most successful businesses will make customer service a top priority, judging the success and quality of their service according to the needs of their customers. Naturally, customer service expectations vary depending on the industry; the standards of service for an accountant, for example, will be different from those of a house painter. But regardless of industry, customer satisfaction needs to be a top consideration of any business that intends to maintain and grow its client-base. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of customer service in driving your business.
Fewer missed opportunities
A client can quickly go sour on a provider when they are not easy to reach. Chances are, if a potential client contacts you and you are not available, they’ll simply move on to someone else.
Approaching business from a customer-needs approach means ensuring that there is always an effective line of communication. For example, online translations service provider, Day Translations, has teams located in various time zones, meaning they are available to respond to client enquiries around the clock.
If you don’t have the budget for that, an overnight call service or automatic email response can help the customer feel valued and means you won’t miss out on any business from new or existing clients.
Increases customer loyalty
On average, it is seven times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to hang onto an existing one. Research indicates that existing customers spend more per sale and are more open to other services, which represent opportunities to up-sell.
So naturally it makes sense to give your customers good reason to stay with you, particularly in an industry that lends itself to repeat business.
The level of customer service you offer can be a deciding factor in winning your customers over long term. If the customer has been happy with your service in the past, the chances are they’ll stick with you rather than bothering to find another provider.
Leads to referral business
Referrals are extremely valuable as they represent business opportunities that don’t require any investment on your part. Providing good customer service is one of the most effective ways of generating referral business, as people aren’t at all shy about sharing their good (and bad) service experiences.
Research shows that the typical unhappy customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience, which can quickly tarnish the reputation of a local business. The other side of the coin is that happy customers tell around 6 people, and more if they are a long-term customer.
Making your customers’ satisfaction a priority invariably leads to positive word-of-mouth exposure, which is an excellent form of marketing.
Helps smaller businesses stay competitive
Small businesses can find it difficult to compete against companies with large budgets, large teams and more flexible pricing. However, offering terrific customer service is something a small business can commit to, giving its customers an experience that you simply can’t get working with a large company.
Customers like the feeling of familiarity, where employees know the clients personally and are up to date with their needs. This isn’t always possible at large corporations, where there are many different departments and a client may have to deal with a different person every time they call.
If a customer likes you and is satisfied with the relationship, other factors, such as price become a secondary consideration and they are more willing to stick with you going forward.
Wrapping it up
Providing excellent customer service is an effective means of driving your business, as it can help strengthen your reputation and ensures your customers walk away satisfied. It pays to invest in developing long term relationships with clients and to focus on their needs as much as possible. Ultimately, happy customers lead to more business, so it’s imperative that you always aim to meet and/or exceed their expectations.