What’s your company’s most valuable asset? Maybe your fantastic product, your supportive shareholders, or your brilliant team come to mind. But without satisfied customers, you’re out of business.
Want proof? Here are three crucial benefits of great customer service—plus a few ways to improve your customer experience.
Customer Retention—and Increased Revenue
Satisfied customers are loyal customers. Keep customers coming back with customer service that shows you prioritize their needs, and see real results in increased revenue. Retaining your current customers is more efficient and profitable than seeking out new ones, and loyal customers are easier to sell to than those without any experience with your company.
Positive Word of Mouth
Happy customers are likely to recommend your company or product to friends, as well as engage with your company on social media channels. This increases your visibility and draws new customers to you—again, saving you effort and resources in customer acquisition.
Feedback for Future Improvement
Your customers—the people actually using your product or service—can tell you how well it’s working and how it can be improved. Customer feedback is an invaluable resource as you continue to refine and scale your offering to make it the best that you can provide. Feedback will also help you improve your customer interactions to further improve the customer experience.
Some Tips for Increasing Customer Satisfaction
A few simple ways to improve your customer service:
- Maintain consistency in customer interactions. A 2013 report from the Harvard Business Review suggests that minimizing the number of touchpoints or different contacts involved in a single customer’s interaction with the company improves satisfaction and loyalty, as fewer transitions between customer service providers allow fewer chances for error. Further, the study asserts, each touchpoint in the customer chain must be held accountable for the ending result of the customer’s entire interaction.
- Simplify and clarify support text on your website—or forgo it altogether. Small changes to FAQ sections or other help text on your website can help customers help themselves, decreasing the number of support requests. On the other hand, in his article “7 Customer Support Hacks to Increase Sales, Build Better Customer Relationships, and Grow Your Business,” Len Markidan cites Buffer’s decision to get rid of support text entirely. Instead, customers are directed to email for help, which makes it easier for Buffer to track customer issues and make changes to eliminate them in the future.
- Take advantage of social listening and respond appropriately. Every complaint or concern raised by a customer on your social media channels—or elsewhere on the web—is an opportunity to win over customers. Not only do customer interactions on social a chance to solve the individual customer’s problem, increasing their satisfaction and loyalty, they show your network (and the customer’s) that you are responsive to customer needs.
- Reach out. Show your customers that you’re always putting them first. Markidan suggests sending emails checking in during the account onboarding process, for example, or even a handwritten note expressing appreciation for a loyal customer.
Your business can see dramatic growth in your customer base, the loyalty of your customers, and in your profits. Make a commitment to customer service, and reap the benefits.