Customer service- it’s for much more than just solving problems and preventing “churn”. It can be one of your most powerful tools to increasing sales and profits!
Likelihood of Word of Mouth Referrals
Word of mouth referrals are one of the most powerful and effective methods of increasing your sales. It’s been shown time and time again that customers are most likely to give a word of mouth referral because of great customer service- even over stand out product or service quality! There is some interesting, underlying psychology to this business truth. When a customer considers giving a personal referral or recommendation, they often consider that though a great product or service may have worked well for them personally, the addition of fabulous customer service will ensure that if the initial product doesn’t work as well for the referral, they will still likely have a positive experience. It’s a safer bet to put one’s reputation on the line if the company has reliable and exceptional customer service to back up their products.
Zappos is an excellent example of a company who has proved that dedicated customer service leads to an abundance of referrals and a strong reputation. Jeffrey Lewis, Zappos Customer Loyalty Team supervisor, has said “Zappos’s first core value is deliver wow through service, and we feel that allowing our team members the ability to stay on the phone with a customer for as long as they need is a crucial means of fulfilling this value.” Many customer service phone calls will even last for hours, and the Zappos brand remains one of the strongest in it’s industry!
Quite frankly, word of mouth referrals are the most likely to result in a sale, and excellent customer service is the most likely factor to inspire a word of mouth referral.
Positive Feedback Loop
With a talented and knowledgeable customer service team, you’ll be able to glean immediate and constructive feedback from your customers. Such businesses insights are invaluable! You can quickly make changes to your product or service as soon as limitations or errors are pointed out to your customer service team members. Without a talented and dedicated team interacting with your clientele, how will you ever know WHY something isn’t popular, or what you could improve upon? Customers also become more committed to your brand if they feel their evaluation and suggestions are taken seriously. Increased customer loyalty is a surefire way to increase your sales and grow your company.
A top notch customer service team will be able to make the most intelligent product upsells, based on their knowledge of and interaction with your customers. Well targeted upsells are more likely to be successful, and that increases profits for you!
Ensuring Return Visits
A particularly powerful method of increasing sales through good customer service is when your business is able to offer actual, physical servicing. Whether it’s offering free maintenance or repairs for the lifetime of the product or free cleaning, the customer will see value in getting a service for free, and will likely return to your store several times to take you up on the offer. This is the perfect way to market new products and services, or upsells, to regular foot traffic! The best kind of potential customer is one who is in the store!
The Alternative Is Worse
Having good customer service is quite simply better than the alternative- having bad customer service. Bad customer service can have the most dramatic effect of all other customer experience factors, including the actual product or service! This is because customers feel personally offended or attacked by poor customer service, and will feel quite emotional about it. Not only will you lose the one angry or upset customer, but their own dissatisfaction can be amplified to equate many more lost customers from bad word of mouth reviews and poor online reviews.
We here at Funding Gates are huge proponents of high quality customer service as a central role of business. Where should you go from here? Check out our suggested reading to take your small business’ customer service to the pro level!
Short on Customer Service Staff? Check out these 5 apps!
Tips for Improving Customer Service
How to Grow Your Business from Customer Feedback and Input
Customer Loyalty Programs: Are They Worth Their Cost?
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