There is a classic quote, often attributed to Maya Angelou, as follows: "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel".
This encapsulates the customer service experience. After all, your customer is paying you to take care of their needs. The last thing they want is to feel ignored and frustrated.
Here's how poor customer service can negatively impact on your business, and how to keep it from happening.
1. It destroys your reputation
Word of mouth is still important in marketing; in fact, it is the chief promotional tool for many businesses. Your reputation and brand image is perhaps your most valuable asset.
These days, customers are quick to leave a bad review online if you have failed to deliver on their expectations. According to research, disgruntled customers will share bad experiences with up to five people in their circle, and more than half will write a negative review.
What's more, public reviews influence more than 70% of buyers - so one unhappy customer could have a big impact. Work on your customer support to avoid this happening.
How to fix it
Address customer complaints efficiently. Reach out to customers who have received bad service and make amends. Respond to negative reviews publicly, apologise for their experience and openly accept responsibility.
Resist the urge to be defensive or be drawn into an argument - public drama does more harm than good. Once you reach the customer, take the conversation private and address their complaints directly.
Finally, learn from the experience - improve your practices to make sure no one else suffers the same problem.
2. It prevents leads converting
How many times have you reached out to a business, with an enquiry, complaint or request for further info, and never heard back? If this has happened to you, then you'll realize how frustrating it is.
Consider what a prospect must think when you leave them hanging, or when your service is unhelpful, dismissive or plain non-existent. Likely they will be wondering: if this is the quality of service I get now, how will they treat me once I'm a customer?
Customer service departments have a bad reputation, so take this chance and nurture your leads with responsive, caring customer service. Good customer service leaves a great impression and makes people far more likely to choose to do business with you.
How to fix it
Use a customer relationship management system. It helps you track customer interactions effectively and keep all the relevant materials at hand, so you can respond promptly.
A good IT supplier such as Prosyn can help you identify the right systems to manage your customer data and provide better service.
An integrated approach to marketing and sales - sometimes called smarketing - also helps your representatives deliver more value to customers and improve their service levels.
3. It lowers customer retention rates
It’s far easier and cheaper to sell to existing customers than it is to attract new ones. Cross-selling and up-selling help you get greater value out of people who are already buying.
Loyal customers are the lifeblood of most businesses - and, as discussed above, their word of mouth could result in more custom for you.
Bad customer service can reduce your average customer lifetime value, and puts pressure on your marketing to continually replace those customers you've lost.
How to fix it
Design a customer retention strategy based on great service. Repeat custom should be valued. Take care of your most profitable customers and reward them - for example, with a loyalty scheme or bulk discounts.
4. It ruins staff morale
Bad customer service doesn't just have an adverse effect on your customers - it extends to your staff. When your business is flooded with calls from unhappy customers, or subjected to a barrage of complaints on social media, it makes for an unpleasant working environment.
Nobody wants to feel they're working for a 'bad' employer. If your business develops a poor reputation, your best workers will likely jump ship.
How to fix it
Great customer service starts with a great company culture. If your business promotes friendly, quick and professional customer care, employees will be happy and motivated to resolve customer issues.
A positive company culture attracts better workers, and gives them a reason to stick around. This improves all areas of your business.
Sponsored post. Copyright © 2018 Jamshed Chaudhary, professional blogger, industry watcher and technical writer