Why Good Customer Service is Important to Your Success
We’re all too familiar with the simple phrase: “No work, no pay.” All business owners know that their company exists for a simple reason: to generate revenue. It accomplishes this task by moving products or mobilizing services for your customers. Setting aside for a moment any tricks or shortcuts to increase conversion rates or drive traffic to your shop, let’s consider the most important value to your business: customer service.
For your business to stay operational, you need to do at least one of two things: keep costs down or drive sales up. The bad news is that the former is difficult and eventually comes to a line you cannot cross, no matter what hacks you try to implement. The good news: good customer service does the latter, and theoretically with limitless potential. In case you need a refresher, here are some reasons outlining the importance of customer service.
- Customer Service Builds Rapport.
With online businesses, it really is a buyer’s market. In this day and age, shoppers are fickle and can afford to shop around, compare prices, and learn about your competitors more easily than ever before. This means you have to work harder to win over new customers and keep their trust once they’ve bought into your brand. If you have a hard time with over-delivering your products and services, you’ll have an even harder time keeping the lights on.
- Customer Service Reveals Your Integrity.
Your company may be a one-man show or have a team of hundreds of agents. Either way, your company will be vulnerable to the effects of human error. Mistakes can be minuscule and go unnoticed, while others can put your livelihood on the line. Accept that mistakes are inevitable, and it’s your responsibility to own up to those mistakes.
Never underestimate the power of an apology. For the times you need to go above and beyond and pay out of pocket to fix a mistake, you’ve done more than just save face—you’ve laid down a foundation to build a long and fruitful business relationship.
- Good Customer Builds Brand Awareness
Your brand is more than a slick logo or polished website design. The business world has been revolutionized with the advent of the Internet, social networking, mobile computing and the resultant instant gratification. Word of mouth used to take place on a small scale, in the context of a casual conversation, but with social media at the forefront of communication gateways, word of mouth has become dramatically important. If you’re just starting out in e-commerce of any kind, you’re under the gun to deliver the absolute best customer service you can. Who knows what a disgruntled customer would say on social media to bring you down?
When you provide the best customer service possible, people take notice and say good things about your company. They’ll remember your website, mention you to their friends and family, and post their positive experiences on review websites and social media. When you provide good customer service, you have word of mouth on your side.
- Good Customer Service Solves Problems
If your company is big enough, you may have a whole department to handle customer service. In fact, customer service in its most defensive form has a very narrow focus: to handle potential complaints. Consumers can file complaints with various entities whose sole existence is to protect them. These entities include the Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission, and similar groups depending on what country in which you operate.
You can spend a ton of resources trying to protect yourself and your company by beefing up the fine print on your website with disclaimers, terms and conditions, and other ways to avoid confronting your problems head on. To the average consumer, prospective or otherwise, these words are meaningless when handing over their hard-earned money in the hopes of getting what they’re paying for. If you want them to continue to buy from you (or at least not sue you), be ready to do what it takes to turn their frowns upside down.
- Strong Customer Service Adds Value.
Customer service means adding intangible value to something that already has a discrete value. Relating to your customers couldn’t be more imperative in this regard. Sometimes this means engaging in conversation with prospective customers who aren’t looking to buy just yet.
Whether you serve a large, diverse market or a specific niche market, you need to be knowledgeable not only about the product you’re selling but also the needs and collective personality of your target market. You could keep a warehouse full of products or run a drop-shipping operation, and customer service will still haunt you if you can’t field questions about your offerings. Add value by giving expert advice and providing product guides on your website to help your customers educate themselves.
How much of a priority does customer service play in your operations? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
About the Author
I am a Marketing Research and Analyst with more than 6 years’ experience in Marketing, Research, Analytics and Online Marketing; with a 2 years’ experience in Search Engine Optimization. A freelancer as of the moment. Enjoys playing video games, basketball and loves coffee too much.