So, you’ve got the best product in your industry, competitive prices, and (so far) your marketing plan is pulling in a decent stream of new customers. Now it’s time to sit back and watch your company blossom from a few little roots and buds into a firmly held tree, right? Wrong. While these are essential parts that any business needs in order to grow, there is one key element that is being left out — customer service.
Think high-quality products, competitive pricing, and a great marketing plan are all it takes to create and maintain a successful business? While all of these factors are, of course, essential parts of a great business, they aren’t the whole story. These days, cultivating a top-notch customer experience is one of the most highly valued parts of a business. Customers who aren’t happy with the customer service they have received from your business will move their business elsewhere. In fact, when citing their top reasons for switching to a different business, 53% say it’s because they feel underappreciated and 42% say it’s because of rude staff. Even the best marketing plan just can’t make up for bad service. Read on to learn more about how bad customer service can undermine your business’s marketing plan.
Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
A great marketing plan should highlight your business’s competitive difference and bring positive consumer awareness to all that your business offers. However, inadequate customer service can completely erase any positive effects of your marketing efforts. Often it is difficult for companies to get past personal bias and recognize areas of weakness. You may not realize that customers are unhappy with your services until it’s too late and you’ve lost their business. There is a huge disparity between what companies think they are delivering and what consumers perceive. 80% of companies report that they deliver a high level of customer service, while only 8% of customers perceive great customer service in companies in general.
How can your company resolve this disparity? Make sure that all the claims you make in your marketing materials are actually true. If you promise great customer service but are losing customers, it’s time to take a hard look at how customers actually view your customer service. Make sure that you aren’t losing customer interest due to rude or inattentive staff or by being too slow at responding to requests.
Modern Consumers Have More Options Than Ever Before
Today, consumers have so many options for any given service or product that they have no reason to stay with a business that hasn’t shown them good customer service. This wealth of options means that consumers can be more choosy about where they do business, and they have much higher expectations for customer service than has previously been seen. Just in the past year, 60% of consumers have gained higher customer service expectations than they had a year ago. This is no coincidence – it’s only natural for consumers to be pickier when they know there are countless other business lining up for their attention.
One of the most effective ways to keep consumers coming back is to put an emphasis on consistently good customer service across all channels – from in-person and phone calls to emails and online chat.
Online Reviews Can Make or Break Your Business
It used to be that if a customer was unhappy with the service they received, they might complain to the manager or tell a few of their friends about it. Today, however, word-of-mouth goes much further than an individual’s circle of friends. Angry consumers now have a limitless platform on which to air all their grievances for the world to see: online reviews. From Facebook to Google and beyond, consumers now plaster online reviews – good and bad – across the Internet. Additionally, consumers take online reviews into account when choosing whether to use a business. 86% of consumers report that they do not use a business that has negative reviews. Plus, it takes an estimated 12 positive reviews to wipe out the bad effects of just one bad review. No matter how good your marketing strategy is, if your customer service is not up to par, those bad online reviews could effectively kill your business.
Take Control of Your Business’s Reputation
At Turn The Page Online Marketing, we go beyond just a one-and-done marketing plan. With our social media and website services, we can help you manage your business’s online reputation. Contact us today!
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