By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)
On my way to meet some friends recently, I was stopped at a traffic light behind a company truck that immediately caught my attention. Written across the tailgate was what I assumed to be the company strapline, ‘Growth Through Customer Service’. While I can’t comment on whether or not this company lives up to that motto (I wasn’t able to catch a glimpse of the company name on the truck), there’s no doubt that this really should be a goal of every company.
We’ve talked a lot on this blog about customer experience being a powerful competitive advantage (or disadvantage if delivered poorly) and a key differentiator for organisations. The customer service you provide is an important piece of the overall customer experience and has a direct impact on the growth of your company.
- Cost of new customers – It can cost up to 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain current customers, and the probability of selling to existing customers is much higher than to a new prospect. The service you provide to customers goes a long way towards building a happy, loyal customer base that will stick around, sing your praises to everyone they know and hopefully become customers for life.
- Word of mouth – A dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people on average about their experience. Factor in the growing popularity of social networks, and ‘word of mouth’ is more powerful than ever for influencing purchasing decisions. It doesn’t take more than a quick search on Twitter to realise the potentially damaging effect of complaints about poor service experiences—or see the positive impact happy customers can make.
- Service over price – Savvy shoppers are known to shop around looking for the best deal, but price is by no means the only deciding factor for customers. Consumers report a willingness to pay more to guarantee better service and a willingness to leave you for a competitor after a poor customer service experience, even if that competitor is higher-priced. A reputation for providing bad service can overshadow even the most competitive of prices.
The bottom line? There’s no substitute for providing high quality customer service. Regardless of whether customers are seeking support from in-store staff, online virtual assistants or contact centre agents, they should leave the interaction with resolution and feeling valued as customers. Delivering consistent, accurate and positive customer service goes a long way in growing your business.