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Better Customer Relations = Better Bottom Line Profits

Did you know an increase of 5% in customer retention can give a jump up in profits of 25%.

We live our lives in a faster than ever before environment, and having thick skin has become an everyday wear, rather than being reserved for special occasions.

Our new battlefront ensemble has raised our expectations of the level of care, assistance and advice provided by companies. Among the Generation Y Demographic, the vast majority are suggesting business are meeting or surpassing their expected service levels.

Millennials in the 24 – 40-year-old age group say they will pay 21% more to do business with companies who excel at customer service.

The question remains; Are you taking full advantage of this opportunity or are you treating your customers like our Aine below.

Let’s look a little deeper at Customer Care:

Why should we care about customer service levels?

  • First off, selling to an existing customer is much easier and cheaper for your business. The probability of selling your goods and services to an existing customer is somewhere in the region of 65%. Compare that with the 5% probability of selling to a new customer, it becomes clear to see why customer care is a cornerstone of modern business practice.
  • Good Customer Service can increase your customers spend with your business. Happy customers keep coming back and returning customers are likely to spend more, 67% more in fact.
  • A positive customer experience contributes to loyal customers and believe it, or not loyal customers are willing to pay up to 25% more for a better experience. Keeping your customer experience and service levels to an exemplary standard can mean better bottom line figures for your company.
  • Take an airline ticket for example. Research shows that if your customer experience is superior to a competitor in this industry, individuals will happily pay a higher price for the ticket rather than choosing a poor service competitor.  Maintaining high levels of customer service will also entice new customers into your business.
  • Good Customer Service will generate positive word-of-mouth and help establish a good reputation. Paying attention to the small things like how you and your employees interact with your customers contribute to an all-round experience. It’s unlikely that you’ll get it 100% right all the time, the reward is in trying. 77% of customers have shared positive brand experiences with others, and the old phrase “happy customers are walking talking billboards” holds true in this respect

Now that we’ve examined why you should care about customer service, let’s take a look at exactly how you can deliver better customer service.

First off, treat your employees like customers, they are the boots on the ground when it comes to customer service. If you don’t respect or appreciate your employees, they are not going to respect or appreciate your customers.  87% of employees who enjoy their jobs are willing to work extremely hard for their business’s customers. Richard Branson continually promotes this management attitude on LinkedIn. And if we’re honest, he’s not doing to bad for himself.

Secondly, follow up on any feedback you receive from your customers.

Your brand perception may not match how your customers see it. Listening and reacting to customer feedback is hugely important. Showing your appreciation for your employees and customer feedback contributes to a motivated workforce. (If you need reminding about the importance of this read point 1 again). Prompt follow ups on customer feedback is integral. Don’t delay and never forget:

Closeness in time gets the dime

  • Handle complaints and returns with grace.
    The art of dealing with a disgruntled customer can test even the best customer care agents. We all have bad days, as do customers, but be conscious of the fact that today might be the day your issue is the last straw. When met with a disgruntled customer try and relax, zone out everything around you and concentrate on this one customer. Empathise, build a genuine rapport and know when to say sorry. We’re all human and we know we can say a lot of stuff in anger we don’t mean, and never take it personally.
  • Understand your customers’ needs and wants.
    Manage your customers’ expectations from the get-go. This one boils down to being honest and being positive. Be honest about what products or services you are selling and be positive at every contact point along the way. If your customer calls looking to buy a fish, go sell them a fish. Don’t try and sell them a boat, fishing tackle or a captains hat. Educating your employees and having them understand the exact product or service you provide makes it really easy for your customers to get what they want. Clarify your timetable with the customer and always keep the customer advised along the way, especially if there is any changes.
  • Go out of your way to help your customers.
    It’s unreasonable to think every customer will have a positive experience with your business. Businesses succeeding at customer service always pick up the phone when it rings, answer the e-mail promptly and whenever the opportunity arises meet their customers face-to-face. There is a lot to be said for doing the small things correctly, if you get in the habit of it, you’ll be amazed how it can grow into culture.

Knowing why and how Customer Service matters gives you the tools to put your company’s best foot forward every time.

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