When most entrepreneurs set up a business, they focus on developing a high-quality product that people actually want. While that’s an important issue, many businesses tend to neglect the customer service part of the equation. Too many businesses tend to think that, if the product is good enough, it’ll sell itself. If only it was that simple.
No matter how good the product is, your customer service is what ends up ultimately selling the product. That’s the reason why two almost identical products can have a massive difference in sales volume; how one business treats their customers may be miles better than the other, hence the gap.
Years ago, the lines between a product and customer service were well defined, with customers (and by extension, businesses) only really caring about the quality of the product. These lines have become increasingly blurred, however, and have made how you treat your customers an integral part of the product. Having a great product with terrible customer service isn’t enough to succeed, and is almost a sure sign of failure. The same is true for a terrible product and great customer service. The two pretty much go hand-in-hand.
So why exactly is it that customer service helps improve your sales?
It Helps With Customer Feedback
One thing every business needs is feedback on their product, and the only feedback you should be focused on is from your customers.
This is because you and your company (and possibly friends or relatives, if you’re still at an early stage) will see your product a certain way, while customers will see it differently, even if it’s only slightly differently.
Getting this feedback can be priceless, as it can wind up changing your product for the better, making it more appealing to customers.
The more appealing the product is, then the more customers you’ll end up attracting.
There’s also the fact that you’ll also know exactly how well, or how badly, your product is actually performing. If it needs any tweaks, your customers will be the first people to tell you so, which is why customer service is so important. To get this kind of feedback, however, businesses need to be able to build up trust with their customers. This is why your customer service needs to be impeccable.
If your customers feel as if they can’t come to you with constructive criticism, or problems that they’re having with your product, then you’ll lose than customer, and possibly a whole lot more. Obviously, you can’t keep every customer happy, or implement all of their feedback, but if customers know that you’re listening and actively trying to make a better product for them, then they’ll have a better opinion of your business.
It Builds Customer Loyalty
Too many businesses focus on closing the sale, and often this can come at the price of losing a customer in the long-term. While closing the sale as quickly and as efficiently as possible may have a positive impact on your bottom line in the short-term, it may not bode well long-term.With a friendly approach to customer service, your business can create long lasting relationships with potential customers, which can lead to them becoming recurring customers for years to come. Great customer service helps build trust and a relationship with your customer, which helps your business stand out amongst the competition.
This trust and loyalty can make a massive difference for a potential customer, especially when there’s a load of competition in the market. People like to do business with who they feel the most comfortable with, and if your business puts in the time and effort to build that trust, then they’re more likely to buy from you. A business/customer relationship is still a relationship, and both parties have something that they want to get out of it.
Naturally, a customer will want your product, but they also want a feeling of respect and understanding.f they feel like you just want their money, and only their money, chances are they’ll walk away without spending a dime. Like any good relationship, be it personal or professional, it requires effort, interest, and an understanding of the other person. The relationships that you get the most out of are the ones that you put the most into.
It Humanises Your Business
Everybody likes to feel like they’re dealing with an actual person. Customers don’t like to feel like they’re dealing with a big faceless entity, and are more relaxed when they know that they’re speaking to another person, especially when it comes to email or phone interactions.
Knowing that there’s another human being at the other end of the conversation does a lot to put them at ease when dealing with your company.
This is especially through now that a lot of interactions have moved online, with many people taking to social media or email in order to deal with your company.
With great customer service, and proper lines of communication, you’ll be able to create a positive face for your company. This ‘face’ ends up creating an incredible engagement rate with your customers, both online and offline, leading to them wanting to do business with you on a regular basis.Humanising your business also enables your customers to create an emotional bond with it. Successful businesses need to be able to not only meet a customers’ rational needs, such as buying a computer, but also their emotional needs, such as being able to have a conversation with the sales agent throughout the process.
Should both of these needs be met, your buyers will have a positive experience and will be more likely to pay more for your product.Just look at Apple and how they treat their customers. Other computers have the same basic functionality, but Apple are able to create an emotional connection with their customers, helping drive brand loyalty, as well as enable them to charge a premium for their product. Because of their experiences, customers are more than happy to keep buying updated, slightly different versions of Apple’s.
It’s Better Marketing
The right marketing can make or break any company. This can be said for everyone from the smallest SME right on up to the biggest multi-national. And there’s nothing in marketing that works better than word of mouth. Potential customers talk, and a recommendation from a friend and how they were treated affects your business. Customers expect more from businesses these days, and with social media used almost religiously by many people, customers are more than happy to share what they think of your company with the world.
Experiences can go viral, especially if they’re on either the very positive or very negative side. This can help shape a worldwide view of your brand, regardless of whether or not some people are potential customers. A bad recommendation can affect your business, and in the social media age things can turn ugly quick. Interacting with your customers doesn’t even need to happen online for the experience to make it there. A terrible experience with your business can quickly spread, leading to a poor brand performance and possible loss of customers.
On the other hand, however, if you go the extra mile, it can also lead to more business. If potential customers hear of positive experiences with your business, especially from trusted friends or family, they’re more likely to buy your product or service. At the bare minimum, it’ll increase your brand awareness. This word of mouth is something that no marketing professional would be able to achieve on their own. Word of mouth is the most powerful tool that any business can utilise. It can either make or break your business.
Quality Customer Service Goes A Long Way
Throughout all of this, you need to ensure that your customers have a positive experience with your company. As human beings, we remember experiences above everything else; the specifics of the interaction a customer had with your company might be forgotten over time. But they’ll remember whether it was a positive or negative experience. Without great customer service, the customers’ memories of you will be a negative. Or they just won’t remember you at all, which is almost as bad. Even if a problem arises with your product, you can still turn it around and create a positive experience. After that, you’ll have a repeat customer. After all, no business wants to leave a bitter impression on the customer once they leave.
Ensuring that customers have an enjoyable experience with your company will lead to more brand loyalty. It’s also a major source of brand visibility. Through this, you’ll be on the road to more profits over time, which is the goal customers. Word of mouth travels fast, and is hard not to listen to. Ensuring that customers are only saying good things about your business is why how you interact with them is important. Customers are your most important asset, so a positive customer experience should be just as important.