Let's imagine a scenario.
Your company is closing a lot of deals, everything looks great! Your recently acquired clients are excited to start off working with your company, and everything seems to be running smoothly.
A few weeks go by, and your clients start complaining about different reasons. Then, a couple of months go by, and many of the newly closed clients now are gone with the wind, while a handful of others are just about leaving or plain dissatisfied.
The work you're delivering is on-point, the contract is respected up to the last letter, but somehow, every complaint has to do with the customer experience they are getting from your company.
By this point, you have more questions than answers. You ask yourself what could have been different, you're probably looking for someone or something to blame and frustration is making its way onto the halls of your office.
What happened? You ask yourself, over and over again…
Well...they didn't leave because of the quality of the work, they left because of poor customer experience , poor retention techniques, or, most widely known as "poor customer service."
Great customer service is the art of providing assistance and advice to the people who are looking to acquire your product/hire your services.
The definition sounds pretty simple, doesn't it?
Excellent Customer Service, however, doesn't happen overnight; it is a process which can make your business thrive and become different from the rest of them. It'll ultimately bring customer loyalty.
With that in mind, I've put together 5 reasons why customer service helps business growth. Let's get to work to deliver the best customer service out there!
Make no mistake! Excellent Customer Service doesn't stop once a person has given you their money. It is an ever-going process, mostly known in the Inbound Flywheel as the "Delight Stage."
A lot of companies focus their energies and marketing efforts on the first three stages of the flywheel, putting less effort (or none effort at all) on their existing customers. This is a NO-NO situation.
While it is important to acquire new clients, it is also important to nurture your existing customers and focus efforts to turn them into advocates. This way, your existing customers will be the ones spreading the word about how amazing your company is.
This is proof of the loyalty towards your brand.
The delight stage can be complicated because once you have delivered the service your customers were looking for, the million-dollar question comes up: Now what?
Well, let's just say it can get easier since you already know your customer segments. You have their data and probably a few insights about their preferences.
According to Sophia Bernazzi, who wrote about Customer Delight on Hubspot Official Blog "By going above and beyond to create a memorable customer experience with things like discounts, gifts, promotion, or spontaneous outreach to your customers, you can foster an emotional connection and sense of good-will that will make them more likely to be loyal to your brand long-term."
This is one of the biggest secrets of customer success.
Feeling a little lost? Well, start by asking yourself questions such as:
Having an answer for these two questions will help you better understand how you're handling your customer service to drive more advocates to your brand.
I once read an article stating that the core of the company was the employees since they are the ones showcasing what your company really is.
Think it through. Who are the people facing customers every day? Who are the people handling tough situations? Who are the people smiling to customers and being kind to them even if customers are not that nice?
Exactly, your employees!
I'm sure your business plan is fun to read since you've carefully laid out what your business is, what is its mission, its goals, and the values under it works.
None of this can really happen if you're not taking care of your employees.
Let's think it through a little bit more...your business plan mentions that your brand works under the most excellent levels of customer service.
However, the first person whom your customers see when they enter your business is a single mother for 3 children, who is highly sleep deprived and comes to work every day to a 10-hour shift with 30 minutes of a lunch-break and two 10-minute breaks throughout the day.
Do you think that person will ever be able to deliver good customer service? You guessed it, nope.
Is it fair to work a 10-hour shift with 1 hour of "free" time pieced out during the day? No.
Your company must reflect its values not only to external customers but internal as well. Otherwise, you'll have a bunch of people with no commitment and no will to do anything but complain about how crappy their workplace is.
"Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients" - Richard Branson.
This is one of these concepts that might take some time to grasp, and it sure did for me. I'll illustrate with an example:
I have a friend who takes a haircut every 15-days at a very expensive salon.
I once asked him why did he keep choosing that same salon over other salons that were much cheaper.
He replied: "I choose this one because they treat me like a king, whereas other places don't even care about if I liked the haircut or not."
That's when it hit me…
"People go out looking for experiences, not products/services."
While this may not be the case for every product/service out there, I took the time to analyze my buyer behaviors throughout the day and I was able to come up with a very good example.
Let's talk about coffee shops.
I'll just put it out there...I don't like Starbucks, at all! (I mean it)
Why? It is always crowded and the fact of writing my name on the plastic glass has become so "routine" that it doesn't even crack a smile anymore. Neither me nor the cashier.
There's not even a "how's your day going?" anymore.
While this situation may be different at your nearest Starbucks, let's focus on what matters over here.
I usually choose a small chain of coffee shops as well as Starbucks has a lot of clients, but the people who take your order are always smiling and are always kind, the surroundings are much more appealing and their lighting is to die for.
Notice how I have not even mentioned anything about the coffee? I don't even like coffee, you guys.
I choose the place, the people, the feeling of wellness that I get when I visit these places.
I buy an experience, not the actual product they're selling.
Think about your company and analyze the different experiences you offer.
Think about how customers may feel before, during and after hiring your services or buying your product and optimize their journey to transform it into a complete experience that will them craving for more and leverage your customer retention.
Think about the last time you calculate your CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost). You were probably not so thrilled about it.
Now, have you ever stopped for a minute and think how much does it costs to keep a happy customer happy?
There's not so much math needed to know that someone will be happier if you keep doing what makes them happy.
What if we take it just one small step further?
Make your company step up and do a little bit more of what makes your current customers happy.
You don't know what makes your customers happy?
Maybe it is time to start investing some of your energies and efforts in guiding constant research to evaluate your performance up to your customers' thoughts.
You may think Google is enough to measure your company's success with customers.
Well...Think again! As "The Entrepreneurs Yoda" mentions on their article 5 Ways to Find Out if Your Customers Are Happy:
"Unless all your customers are very active in social media, you aren't going to even scratch the surface of understanding how your customer base feels. And then one day...they're gone. And you never know why!"
This may be an excellent time to start reaching out to your database asking for reviews and comments through a "reviews campaign" and most of these campaigns organize things such as a raffle, giveaways, free coupon codes or such, in an attempt to gain enough interest from readers to fill out a form.
Burger King and Taco Bell are excellent examples of this. They give you a big combo by less than half the price if you fill out their customer satisfaction form.
Who wouldn't want a big combo for less than half of the real price? Well, I sure do.
When talking about customer service, don't think about what you want, think about what your customers want.
Companies have problems, period.
No matter how profitable or good a company is, there will ALWAYS exist internal and external issues.
However, by having excellent customer service, your internal and external clients will be aware that it is easier to find a solution for these issues.
No customer likes to spend three hours of their day talking to the customer care department about an on-going issue with their internet service.
Three hours by the phone? Really? After working an 8-hour shift and having an argument with my boss about how much he dislikes when I go on holiday?
As Ariana Grande would say...thank u, next.
Having a clear action plan as to what will happen when a customer faces an issue reduces tension not only for your company, as well as for the affected customer.
When a customer faces an issue, it is a crucial moment in which you can turn them into an advocate by delighting and surprising at how good you are handling their situation. Or, screwing it up and losing a valuable customer.
You will not always keep every customer happy, but you must do until the very last effort to make their experience enjoyable.
Customer Service is no easy task, there are no magic spells or easy paths to deliver excellence. It is a process in which every member of the organization counts, from the CEO to the person who opens up the door. Every member of the organization is carrying the name of the company and showcasing what the company is towards the world.
There are several ways in which you can start improving how you handle service and align it to your marketing and several efforts.
You're not sure where to start? Well, we can help with that.
Let's talk and let us transform you in our next advocate :)