How can customer service reshape a business
“Dear Customer Service, first of all, I’d like to let you know that I am typing this email with my middle finger…”
How many times did you want to send feedback to a company like that?
Unfortunately, such situations are not something exclusive, and often take place when customer service goes wrong. Customer service improvement is sometimes left underestimated, although according to a Zendesk report, 80% of customers are likely to leave after more than one disappointing service experience.
Customer service can be defined as the help, support and care the organization provides to people who use or purchase goods or services. Is customer service a skill? To some extent yes. It is the ability of the company not only to understand customer needs and strive to satisfy them, but also demonstrate that they care. In other words, customer service is an attitude not a department.
Customer service is like taking a bath – you have to keep doing it every single day to keep your reputation neat and clean.
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”
― Theodore Roosevelt
Customer service and customer experience are often confused, but these are different notions. Customer experience is a general term including the whole customer journey of the client, while customer service is about the interaction with the client and is a part of customer experience. When it comes to customer service versus customer satisfaction, the first is the result of how the client feels when customer service is good.
For example, let’s assume you are buying a swimming suit online. The manager contacts you about the details, additional measurements, payment method and shipping address. The whole thing goes quickly and pleasantly, you get the package in just two days. This is your customer experience. The advice you get during the phone call with the store’s manager, the speed of shipping and convenience of payment refer to customer service. Meanwhile your impression of the process is customer satisfaction.
Which customer service is best valued by customers? That one when a client feels that his needs are important to the company.
“An effective customer service strategy is the one which will never stop learning more about your customers.”
― Pooja Agnihotri, 17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail :Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure
Five Main Reasons Why Customer Service Is So Important
How customer service strategy helps the business? There are a variety of ways that customer experience affects the perception of consumers about the company. Organizations stating “Customer service is our top priority” and really bringing this into life, are more likely to experience a vast number of benefits that excellent customer service is able to offer.
Promote your brand and values
Your customers make assumptions based on your social media presence, advertisements, content, and other external marketing. Customer service is the key and a single entry point for direct communication with your brand that shapes perception of your brand image. It can help influence customers and convince them of your strengths over competitors. In fact, 3 out of 5 consumers say that good customer service is key for them to be loyal to a brand. What is more, 77% of customers are likely to share a positive brand experience with others.
Encourage customer loyalty
Is customer service important for clients’ loyalty? Yes, it is crucial to businesses, as existing clients are 60-70 % more likely to purchase your new products/services, while new customers are only 5-25% likely to do so. For business, it is much cheaper to retain an old client than to get a new one – investing in new clients is estimated to be around 5-25 times more expensive. If the company’s customer service is excellent, 78% of consumers are likely to do business with a company again even after a mistake.
Create new marketing opportunities
According to HubSpot, over 50% of clients of all age groups reach out to the service team by phone. At the same time, the frequency of bot usage has dropped to 28%, answering the question “Will customer service be replaced by robots?”. Connecting all your communication channels into one can create new opportunities to source your business with existing customer base. Effective collaboration of your support, sales and marketing teams helps to get to know customers better, make profiles and create straight-to-the-point offers.
Companies with proactive customer support and tool-driven approach are able to find new opportunities to cross sell and upsell their goods or services when using integrated CRM solutions, e.g., Zendesk + Ring.IO.
Boost the sales with the great customer service
Can customer service increase sales? The answer is yes.
Customer service and sales are interconnected. 93% of customers report they’d buy again with companies with excellent customer service. This leads to establishment of loyal customers – and this is how customer service increases profit, since even 5% of growing customer retention enlarges profit by between 25% and 95%.
Excellent customer service is a competitive advantage
It is essential for organizations to consider the main ideas of what customer service teaches you, as it allows you to improve your products or services. People in your support team are the primary link enabling you to directly talk with your customers and discover their basic needs and requirements toward your product or service. If you couple your CRM with the call service software, you will be able to stay closer to your customers and make better and fact-based product decisions.
Real-life examples of great customer service and support
Let’s take a look at how excellent customer service looks like.
A case with Warby Parker CEO is a vivid demonstration of excellence in customer attitude. Mr. Michael John Mathis forgot a pair of Warby Parker glasses when travelling on a train, in a few weeks he received a package with a copy of Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road”, a pair of new reading glasses, and the following note:
In 2013-2016, Anjali Kumar was the Founding General Counsel and Head of Social Innovation at Warby Parker.
Besides specialized customer support, every person who works at Zapier does customer service jobs four hours a week. Zapier’s CEO Wade Foster says that this approach helps employees better understand customer needs and create client-focused products. When hiring people, Zapier focuses on candidates’ skills to do customer support: whether they write well and how they would carry out phone calls and deliver bad news by testing empathy levels.
“Anybody can provide awesome customer service. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to just be nice and be helpful.”
– CEO of Zapier Wade Foster
Patients are the most demanding and vulnerable customers of medical services. Healthcare employees are expected to provide top-notch information, show compassion and engagement and demonstrate resilience in stressful situations. That is why customer service is hard in this industry. RRMC pays specific attention to delivering great customer support to their patients. Every day, a senior nurse visits every patient in the hospital to make sure that their stay is going well. A few days after discharge from the medical center, every patient gets a follow-up call from the staff to see how they are doing. The authorities of the medical center introduced Service Standards for all employees to follow and is holding regular training for staff on communication skills with patients.
How will customer service change in the future
Before live chat and other contact center solutions, remote desktop support, and social media, there were sophisticated phone trees dating back to the 20th century. Customer support of the 60s and today seem to be from two different worlds, as it was undergoing immense changes through the free 1-800 number in the 70s, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technologies in the 80s, and a tech-driven breakthrough with the advent of the Internet and further digitalization. This is how customer service has changed in just a few decades. Today’s customer support encompasses much more complex activities than just answering the phone, and incorporates digital platforms helping to manage and arrange large customer databases.
According to a Microsoft report, 55% of customers state they have higher expectations for customer support in a year, which is the starting point for organizations to start looking deeper into the topic.
Here are some of the main ideas of what to expect from customer service trends in the near future:
- More and more companies are shifting an emphasis on customer service quality, putting much effort on how customer service can be improved.
- Organizations will tend to use customer service and support powered by relevant software integrations. #1 help desk software Zendesk now is seamlessly integrated with Ring.IO enabling users to easily enhance their customer service with calls.
- Customer support is evolving from a supplementary function to a brand. 77% of consumers say that they are more loyal to a brand if they offer excellent customer support
- Companies need to prioritize their approach to clients and add more personal touch to customer service.