Delivering the best possible customer service is the absolute right thing to do, and it makes good business sense.
A company is as good as its satisfied customers, after all. And there is research on how much more time it takes to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.
Forbes contributor Blake Morgan asks “Does it still cost five times more to acquire a new customer than retain a current one?” Most would say “yes” and some say it’s an even larger number than that. A Harvard Business Review article claims that acquiring a new customer can be anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.
The same article cites research showing that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. It’s worth remembering the popular TV disclaimer on one commercial that “Individual results may vary,” but it nevertheless illustrates the importance of good customer service.
Running a successful business is usually achieving the balance of acquiring new customers while keeping the existing ones happy – and, if you can manage it, making every customer feel like they’re your only one.
The website HelpScout details statistics from HubSpot Research and Khoros about the importance of good customer service. Here are a few of their findings:
- 68% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for products and services from a brand known to offer good customer service experiences.
- 86% believe that good customer service turns one-time clients into long-term brand cheerleaders.
- 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies who offer excellent customer service.
- If the company’s customer service is excellent, 78% of consumers will do business with them again even after a mistake.
- A good customer service experience heavily impacts recommendations. Consumers who rate a company’s service as “good” are 38% more likely to recommend that company.
- 83% of customers agree that they feel more loyal to brands that respond and resolve their
This holds true for all businesses, whether the model is services or products – or both.
How does a business go about delivering excellent and exceptional customer service? There have been many articles written on the subject. Another Forbes article offers tips on this topic; and Indeed.com similarly provides recommendations.
Almost everyone who weighs in on customer service will tell you that the practice starts with not just meeting, but exceeding customer expectations. Every business should:
- Listen carefully and respectfully.
- Provide prompt and courteous assistance. Don’t keep customers “on hold.” If possible, have your team answer phones live and avoid complicated voicemail systems including “Dial 1 for this” or “Dial 2 for that.”
- Train your team to be knowledgeable about your products and services.
- Find a solution that will meet your customer’s immediate need. Focus on solving the problem.
- Train your team to listen to the customer’s issue and resolve it efficiently and quickly.
- If something goes wrong, tell your customer the truth. And then find a solution quickly.
- Do everything you can to be on the cutting edge of your industry. Look for ways to add value to each customer experience.
- Thank each customer for his/her business.
- Be positive. Be appreciative.
Whether your business is a brick-and-mortar where you greet customers in person, or you use technology and transact via ecommerce, customers want to feel appreciated and that their business matters to the business owner. And that’s true whether the business is a Managed Services (IT) firm, a CPA firm or a food delivery service. There’s a lot of wisdom in that old saying “The customer is always right.”
Our firm’s CEO is a member of several national groups which meet and share best practices among employers. In a future blog, we’ll dive into some additional specifics of customer service.
In the meantime, if you have any needs with Managed Print Services (MPS), Managed Services (IT), office furniture, or supplies, give us a chance to demonstrate our customer service and get in touch!! You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (888) 357-4277. We look forward to hearing from you!