It used to be that businesses would primarily compete for customers on product and price. You either won by having a superior product to everyone else, or you sold your product at a better price, therefore, making it the more sensible option.
Those days are over.
With so much choice available to customers today, businesses need something else to make themselves stand out from the competition. And it's increasingly clear that the next battleground for companies will be the customer experience and providing a high level of customer service.
Nearly 60% of customers say service will be even more important to them post COVID-19 when deciding which company to use. For companies, it means they have little room for error when it comes to improving customer service and communications across all their channels.
Understanding the importance of customer service
This shift towards better customer service isn't lost on businesses.
According to HubSpot's State of Customer Service report creating a great customer experience, retaining customers and improving customer success are the top three priorities for businesses. With improving customer engagement following close behind.
A big reason for this shift in priorities is that customers value the experience they have when buying a product or service. Customers expect good customer service to come as standard.
The risks of underestimating the customer experience
With so many customers now valuing higher levels of service and experience, failing to get it right and continuing to adapt to customer needs can have a real detriment to your business' future prospects.
Here's what underestimating the value of customer service can do:
Give you a bad reputation
Customers aren't shy when they've had a bad experience with a company. Not only will they tell their family and friends, but most will also now display their annoyance on social media.
If you consistently fail on customer experience, you can quickly get a bad reputation with customers that you might not be able to get rid of.
Prevent lead conversion
Customer service starts from the first time a customer tries to get in touch with you. If you don't answer when someone calls, they'll just hang up and try someone else.
There's not much chance you'll get them to call again, so improving your call answering is key. If leads are struggling to get in touch with you, you'll lose them and the revenue they could have brought to your business.
Destroy employee morale
If your employees are constantly dealing with customer complaints because of poor service, you'll likely see a decrease in morale.
These are usually avoidable.
Many of the common customer complaints come down to customers not being able to get in touch with a business when they need help. Whether it's using a chatbot on your website, to hiring a virtual receptionist to handle your company's calls, investing in better customer communication can reduce the number of complaints you get and improve morale among employees.
Put your business at risk
Not being available for customers when they call is a quick way to get a reputation for poor customer service, and when customers value it more, that can quickly put your business's future at risk.
If customers see you as unreliable, they'll quickly go somewhere else in search of a better service. And once they've found that better service, getting them back to you will be nearly impossible.
Copyright 2021. Article was made possible by site supporter Andy Mcgregor of Face For Business.