Customer care is the premier tool to ensure your success as both a small and large business in the modern world. Customers being satisfied with both the purchase and sales process is key to guaranteeing their continued support of your company and your brand. That ongoing relationship will lead to a better experience and productivity for both you and the customer!
According to an American Express Survey, 78% of consumers have given up on a purchase due to a poor service experience. Also, according to a report as noted in the NY Times, 54% of customers reported a problem with a product or service to customer service. That is more than ½ of transactions! Unfortunately, one bad review could lead to lost customers and, due to the viral nature of the internet, even prompt other people to leave a bad review, starting a vicious cycle of negativity for your business. Poor customer care directly disrupts transactions and costs your business time, sales, and profit.
However, good customer service can help bridge a new customer into a repeat customer. According to a report from BIA Advisory Services, repeat customers spend 67% more on average than new customers, and repeat customers accounted for more than half the revenue of 61% of small businesses.
Why is this so important to new businesses and start-ups?
It is like Will Rogers said “you only get one chance to make a first impression,” and customer behavior proves it. Based on a study by Oracle, 89% of customers begin business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. Ensuring good customer service is difficult, but can be accomplished with the right combination of people, technology, and customer feedback.
Here are some tips to help make sure your customers are treated right:
- Be Prompt: The first step to customer service is getting back to them ASAP. People don’t enjoy waiting, and they will be less likely to return to your business as time goes on. However, a quick reply may impress them enough to entice them to come back as a repeat customer!
- Be Personable: Customers much more enjoy customer service from a real person than from an automated system, so make sure that the response is real and personable. When calling, make sure to introduce yourself or to leave a personal signature when responding over the internet.
- Be Clear: It’s important to be clear and concise in customer care to help save both you and them time. Everybody hates when they’re stuck on the phone with customer service for a long time, so making sure you’re clear and concise can make everyone feel better. This also can apply to online FAQs, which should be easy to find and read.
- Customer Feedback: Providing customers with the means to give you direct feedback is critical, good or bad. Your customers have insights into your buying and selling process that may not be clear to you, so understanding their unique view will help you to improve your customer care.
- Follow up: Following up with your customers after the initial sale can increase the likelihood of a repeat sale, offer customer insight, and in general help the customer feel that they got more from the sale. Telephone calls, mailed personal thank you notes, or even social media can all be used to follow up and make sure that they’re satisfied with the sale.
We are offering several educational programs in the coming months that can help your business build a customer focused culture that will make a difference in your business, not only for your customers/clients but it will engage your employees in the process.