~by Lizzie Weakley~
The heart of every business lies in sales, and the key to great sales is competent customer service. Unfortunately, many business owners leave customer service out of the equation. Understand that omitting customer service can have a major impact on the success of your business, especially in today’s highly competitive age.
Here is how customer service can make or break your business.
New businesses know that it costs more to acquire new customers than to retain current customers. With professional customer service, it is possible to get repeat customers. Keep in mind that today there is no shortage of businesses. It means that customers hold all the cards and have more options than ever before. They are not just looking for quality products and services, but rather a better experience. Even loyal customers may switch businesses if they receive bad service. They will prefer a competitor if they get poor and frustrating customer services. How such mistakes are handled is what makes the difference. Satisfied customers will tell others good things about your business, but ones who are dissatisfied may do the opposite.
Professionals know that there is a connection between the bottom line and how customers are handled. An efficient customer service management team solves immediate problems and works towards preventing them from recurring. For instance, a professional will ask appropriate questions when processing a product to ensure the right package is received by the customer. Before ending a call, data should be verified to assure accuracy. This is the surest way of reducing the wastage of a company’s resources and satisfying customers by reducing the number of returns and complaints. More so, it is easy for professional customer service personnel to cross-sell products, thereby increasing sales.
Consistent and top-notch services can improve the image and the reputation of a brand. Businesses that have had a good reputation have made use of their service edge to present a good name in their industries. A good reputation draws in potential customers and maintains a great customer base. High profits are experienced when a company builds a large customer base. Customer loyalty can be highly nurtured through positive relationships. A credible customer service team takes time to get to know the company’s customers and the products they purchase. By cultivating an effective customer service culture, you’ll usually see rewards in the company’s bottom line. On the other hand, bad customer experiences can quickly cripple a business. Understand that bad news travel fast on social media. It means that if a customer goes online to express their dissatisfaction of your business, it may take time to recover.
Revising the Business Plan
Every business owner has a list of things that help in running a business. However, most business owners do not consider a thorough business plan. Lack of a solid plan can severely drain your business. A professional customer service team studies the market first to find out what competitors are doing. This stands as a guide in pricing products and services to maintain the company’s customers. It also makes it easy to identify gaps in the market that the company could fill. Customer service is a major pipeline to feedback. Through customer service, it is easy to know what customers think about your product and how they are using it. Is the product’s pricing realistic? Are the values of your brand resonating? Customer service should record every detail they get and identify patterns of requests to modify the company’s business plan effectively. Understanding the needs of customers in real time allows a company to identify new features that will be helpful for their customers.
Great customer service helps retain existing customers, while poor customer service sends them away. It is, therefore, vital to have a proactive team with a good policy. Ensuring that your loyal customers stay happy and introduce other prospects to your business fully depends on your customer service team.
Meet the Author: Lizzie Weakley
Lizzie is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky, Snowball.