Customer service – two words you probably have a love-hate relationship with.
As a small business owner, customer service is your way of interacting with your customers, whether it’s for answering their questions, gathering feedback, or establishing rapport.
As a consumer, customer service can mean listening to someone tell you, “Sorry, we can’t do that for you” or getting disconnected after being put on hold and having to rejoin the queue.
No matter how you feel about customer service, I think we both can agree that having excellent customer service is crucial for a growing business. But why exactly is excellent customer service so important and what are the benefits?
Quick note: Check out the sister article, which has 3 recommendations for improving your customer service skills
1. Customer Retention is Cheaper than Customer Acquisition
Let’s pretend you’re starting a new business. Think about what you’d do to reach the milestone of having 100 new customers. How much time did it take to locate, call, and email people in your target segment? How many free samples did you give out to non-paying customers? How much money did you spend on Facebook Ads? Exactly.
Do you really want to spend all that time and money to have most of them leave and never return because of poor customer service? I didn’t think so either. Not to mention, existing customers are 2-3 times more likely to buy your products compared to new customers, so take advantage of that!
2. Reduce and Resolve Problems
Uh oh, the customer received a defective item in the mail. But don’t worry, this is the perfect opportunity for your customer service to shine. Many businesses set the bar quite low, so doing an excellent job here can easily turn an annoyed customer into an ambassador of your brand. If left unchecked, angry customers can spread bad publicity and leave reviews that can have long-lasting effects.
3. Happy Customers
Okay, this one is a no-brainer. Happy customers may leave great reviews and refer their family and friends to your shop, or even be willing to pay more if it means they’ll get a better customer service experience. Sit back, relax, and let your happy customers be the Sneezers that bring more traffic to your shop. What’s a Sneezer? In Marketing, it’s any customer that spreads your offers and/or promotions to others (typically through social media).