We all know how frustrating it could be waiting hours for an email reply or being put on hold for over 30 minutes when all you want is to get answer to one simple question about a product or service you purchased. But can you imagine times when customer service meant having to travel long distances to the original store to get a repair? In fact, prior to the dawn of the 20th century, this is exactly how things used to work!
Customer service as we know it today and the technologies helping to improve it have come a long way. With the invention and the evolution of the telephone customer service has become much easier. Though it took almost 100 years for the phone to become one of the main customer service channels. Then came call centers, email, live chat, sophisticated CRM systems and social media. >>>
It’s probably needless to say that loyal customers are the biggest assets of any business. Studies show that only a 5% increase in your loyal customer base can result in increases of revenue and profits up to 85% or more. Take a look at some more customer loyalty stats that might surprise you:
- The cost of bringing a new customer up to the same level of profitability as an old one is up to 16x more. (SocialAnnex)
- Existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products, and spend 31% more than new customers. (The Nielsen Survey)
- 68% of Millennials say they wouldn’t be loyal to a brand if it doesn’t have a good loyalty program. (The Bond Loyalty Report)
- 62% of Millennials report that brand engagement is more likely to make them a loyal customer. (USC Dornsife)
- 62% of consumers don’t believe that the brands they’re most loyal to are doing enough to reward them. (ClickFox)
So how much do you care about your loyal customers? And what’s even more important – do your customers really know how much you appreciate them? >>>
“Politeness goes far, yet costs nothing.” – Samuel Smiles
There might be a huge number of companies offering the same products or services. The critical difference is ultimately how you make people feel when they do business with you and interact with your brand. No matter your business, excellence in customer service etiquette will always set you apart and give you the edge over your competition.
In fact, customer service agents can be the first and only contact point for customers and are therefore the face of a company. Yet many of them are very often blind to the fact that they are losing business every day by not knowing or simply ignoring the essential service etiquette. >>>
Spend a lot of time talking to customers face to face. You’d be amazed how many companies don’t listen to their customers. ~ Ross Perot.
To build a successful business, whatever it is, you need to have a clear understanding of who your customers are. So how sure are you that you truly know your customers and what they really expect from your business and customer service? Do you know them at least as well as they know your brand?
Answering those questions might be challenging as today’s consumers are much more sophisticated, much more educated and more demanding as they used to be a while ago. In fact, 72% of them now expect a customer service agent to know their contact information, product information and service history as soon as they engage and without being asked. >>>
In spite of all the tech advancements available for businesses today, many still operate under the presumption that their customers prefer the “good old days” of picking up the phone and relying on a human agent for all their customer support needs. While there will always be place for phone in customer service, in reality the majority of customers don’t really want to go back to the “good old days” and call you to get their questions answered.
The infographic below provides some impressive stats drawn from various researches proving that self-service, online chat and social media are becoming the preferred customer support channels for a growing number of consumers. It’s no wonder that customers all over the world increasingly leverage these channels for customer service, as they allow them to get quick, accurate and relevant answers with no need to being put on hold or having to deal with unfriendly agents. >>>
The key to any business success is building trust and establishing strong relationships with customers as those are the main factors that contribute to customer loyalty and generate more sales. Very often though, we unknowingly create barriers that discourage customers from doing business with us, sometimes simply because we don’t realize they exist.
Assuming that your products or services are absolutely great, do you know what can drive your customers away and prevent you from building long-lasting relationships with them? >>>
Gone are the days when we didn’t need to worry about using social media for customer support. But today, it’s not even a question. According to the Sprout Social report 90% of people surveyed have used social media in some way to communicate directly with a brand. The bad news is that brands reply to just 11% of people leaving the majority of inquiries ignored. It means that most businesses continue to use social media as a promotional marketing tool instead of a two-way customer communication channel.
In fact social media has already become the preferred customer service channel for millennials, and it is growing in popularity for older groups too. What’s more, whenever people turn to social for customer support, they want a response much faster than most organizations are either willing or able to provide. The same survey found that the average time it takes brands to respond to a social media message is 10 hours, though most people consider under 4 hours reasonable. >>>
Employee burnout can occur at every level of an organization – from top to bottom, and it’s especially commonly found among customer service people who have to deal with dissatisfied customers almost on a daily basis. It can come about as the result of stress, low morale, poor management, bad working conditions or simply having too much to do and not enough time to do it.
Burnout causes plenty of problems for businesses and leads to high job turnover, lower productivity and decreased engagement. Obviously, burned out employees provide less-than-stellar service to customers they come in contact with. And what’s more, whether it’s the cost of hiring or training new people, or improving poorly done job, burnout can eventually add up to financial loss for your company. >>>
Highly engaged employees make the customer experience. Disengaged employees break it. – Timothy R. Clark
Are your employees passionate about their jobs and committed to contribute to your company’s goals? If not, you may be facing an employee engagement gap that can have a negative effect on productivity, retention, customer service levels and customer experience.
In fact, employee disengagement is a bigger problem than most employers realize. According to the Gallup studies only 32% of employees in the U.S. are engaged, worldwide this number is as little as 13%. Gallup also found that poor engagement at work can cost the U.S. anywhere from $450 billion to $550 billion per year. >>>
In today’s digital, fast-paced world customer expectations and the rules of customer engagement are rapidly changing. What used to be acceptable and satisfactory in customer service a while ago is no longer enough. Being able to recognize and adjust to these new dynamics is absolutely vital in acquiring and retaining customers. While failure to address the changing consumer needs can put your business at risk.
Consumers are mobile and self-reliant: they are talking, texting, browsing, chatting and tweeting more than ever. Their lifestyles demand fast and convenient access to information anytime, anywhere. And, not surprisingly, they will no longer tolerate poor customer service. In fact, 72% of consumers already stopped doing business with a company because of a bad service experience. >>>