A strange irony of business remains that as businesses increasingly trend towards automated voicemail systems and the use of other robotic or automatic technology to power their businesses, people seem to crave more than ever a human presence on the phone line, behind their customer service e-mail, or chat services. Indeed, in just the last year, almost 70% of customers have just hung up out of frustration because they couldn’t get ahold of a real person on the phone, leaving them dissatisfied, their questions unanswered, and potentially costing the business a customer. Given that over 90% of customers who are unhappy won’t do business — unless absolutely necessary — with the offending company, that’s a serious mater. Customer experience and customer service are almost more important today, given the level of competition out there.
How Does Branding Play Into the Customer Experience?
Think about all the latest trends and must-haves that have been spurred by a specific brand. From water bottles to clothing lines to coffee, branding plays a significant role in people recognizing a company and their products. Having a specific color or color combination is incredibly effective here — brand recognition goes by 80% when color is incorporated.
Branding can also allow customers to feel closer to a brand and form a relationship with the brand. Indeed, almost 65% of people say that values was their top reason that they had a relationship with a brand — they like what the company promotes, the charitable outreach they do, or other types of social media branding that the company is producing. Almost 60% of Americans do online research about the services or items they’re about to buy, so there’s plenty for them to discover. You want to make sure that your branding holds up to scrutiny and is unforgettable — in the best way!
Why Customer Service Matters
If your customer services suffers, your business probably is too. Even though the average business only hears from about 4% of its unhappy customers, the vast majority are probably just seeking out a competing business instead of voicing their complaints. Almost 80% of consumers have stopped a transaction or not followed through and bought an item or service because they had bad customer service. That’s a customer who was interested in your service or products, was about to spend money with your business — and who walked away because they had a bad service experience. That can add up to big losses over a period of time.
Additionally, customer loyalty can be ten times as much in worth as just one purchase — and if people are happy, they often become repeat customers and refer new customers to your business. So not only are you building a strong consumer base that returns again and again, you’re also receiving new business from referrals. It’s six to seven times more expensive to get a new customer in the doors (or online) than it is to maintain relationships with a current customer.
And once that trust is broken, it’s a long uphill road to repair the relationship. According to research, it will take a business 12 positive experiences to make up just one negative that never got solved. Getting it right the first time will save you a lot of hassle and money in the long run.
How You Can Improve Your Customer Service
Prove yourself from the beginning. Almost half of consumers said that the most important time to really gain their loyalty was when they first start engaging your services or make their first buy. The human touch is important — employees only ask about the customer’s name less than 25% of the time. Having the option to talk to a customer service representative instead of being shuffled from automated voicemail system to automated system can also make a huge difference.
Employing friendly and knowledgeable staff in all facets can also ward off conflict and discontentment. If an issue comes up, showing that you can handle it calmly, effectively, and swiftly will go a long way.
Customer service isn’t something that has to be difficult, but it does require time and attention. However, putting the effort is well worth your while, for improved sales and customer satisfaction.