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.
Even though today’s world relies less and less on phone calls and more on the internet, cultivating a top-notch customer experience is one of the most highly valued parts of a business. Although we might seem like an anti-human touch society, everyone wants that human connection.
Customers who aren’t happy with the customer service, or that they had no service at all, will move their business elsewhere. 53% of consumers that moved their business to a competing company say it’s because they feel underappreciated and 42% say it’s because of rude staff.
Back it Up
Inadequate customer service can totally erase any positive effects of your marketing efforts. It’s difficult for companies to get past their personal bias and recognize areas of weakness. You may not realize that customers are unhappy with your services until they write you a bad Google review and have taken themselves elsewhere.
Here is a statistic that gives you an idea of just how in the dark most companies are. 80% of companies report that they deliver a high level of customer service, while only 8% of customers perceive great customer service in companies generally.
Make sure your marketing materials make claims that you can truly and clearly back up. If you promise great customer service but continue losing customers, you’re putting on blinders. To make sure that you aren’t losing customers due to rude, slow, or inattentive staff, quietly monitor them for a time as well as ask their co-workers to review each other. Chances are there will be a unanimous decision that you could be doing more or you just hired a bad egg.
Beat All the Other Choices
There is absolutely no reason that a company should have bad customer services. There are a hundred other options to your business, so why should you cut corners and expect the best results? This abundance of options means that consumers can be very choosy, and they have much higher expectations for customer service than ever before.
Try putting an emphasis on consistently good customer service across all channels from in-person and phone calls to emails and online chat. Even a small business can afford it, handle it yourself or include it in the duties of an employee. As long as all channels are covered with polite people, it doesn’t matter.
Online Reviews Can Break Your Business
As long as you don’t freak out and write an angry response, this one is pretty easy and almost anyone you trust can be responding to them. Word-of-mouth goes further than it ever has. Angry consumers now have a limitless platform to air all their grievances. 86 percent of consumers report that they do not use a business that has negative reviews. To top it all off, it takes an estimated 12 positive reviews to wipe out the effects of one bad review.