Great customer service goes hand in hand with a strong online reputation.
If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, then you are probably aware that building and maintaining a strong online reputation is a multi-faceted process that involves managing a number of moving pieces. But, at the end of the day, there’s nothing more important than providing great customer service.
You can get your business listed on every review site and every directory. You can check in on your online reputation every day. You can do a number of things to earn more reviews and respond to them religiously. You can make it a point to follow up with your customers after every service or purchase.
All of these things can go a long way toward building the kind of online reputation for your business that will speak for itself, but unfortunately, none of it matters if your customer service isn’t where you need it to be.
At the end of the day, no matter what you do online to manage your online reputation, it’s always going to be a reflection of the kind of service you provide your customers face to face.
3 Reasons to Make Customer Service Your Top Priority
#1. It gives people a reason to choose your brand.
Most businesses in this day and age have quite a bit of competition, and that’s true for businesses in every industry and businesses of all shapes and sizes. So, how do you ensure that your business stands out when there are 20 others in your area that offer the same services or products? By focusing on fantastic customer service!
Seventy percent of consumers say that they will support a company because it provides above-average customer service, and 90 percent say they consider customer service to be a factor when determining whether to do business with a brand. And, if you have a reputation for providing wonderful customer service, people will be willing to spend an average of 17 percent more with you.
People value customer service highly, and with so much competition out there, making customer service a top priority is one of the best things you can do to make your brand stand out.
#2. It leads to brand loyalty.
While it’s always a positive thing to get your name out there and gain new customers, nothing beats customer loyalty. And, how do you ensure that your customers will turn to you time and time again when they have a need for your products or services? By making customer service one of your top priorities!
Thanks to the efforts of friendly customer service representatives, 68 percent of people will remain loyal to a brand and 93 percent will be likely to make another purchase with the company in question. And, an increase in customer retention by just 5 percent can lead to an increase in profit by as much as 25 percent.
In addition to earning repeat business and loyalty, if you can prove your customer service chops to your existing customers, they’ll also be more likely to spread the word about your business. After just one positive experience, 77 percent of customers say they would recommend a brand.
#3. It helps you avoid the pitfalls of poor customer service.
Poor customer service can have just as much of a negative impact on your business’ online reputation just as much — if not more so — than great customer service can have a positive impact.
Did you know that the number one reason why someone decides to switch to a new brand is feeling unappreciated? Unfortunately, even if you do it right more times than not, all it takes is one poor customer experience for 49 percent of Americans to switch to a new brand. Furthermore, it can take up to 12 positive experiences to make up for just one negative experience. Seventy-eight percent of customers who have gone as far as initiating a transaction with your business will back out mid-purchase if they’ve had a negative experience with your customers.
The effects of poor customer service can be long-lasting, and sometimes, it can take companies years to recover. Approximately 39 percent of consumers say that after they’ve had a bad customer service experience, they’ll avoid the business in question for two whole years.
Not only can poor customer service lead to lost customers; it can also lead to negative reviews for your business online, which can hurt your chances of attracting new customers. Forty percent of consumers will tell others not to do business with a company after a negative customer service experience, and 62 percent say they share their negative experiences with other people.
What does great customer service mean to you?
Understanding the importance of focusing on customer service is one thing, but understanding what exactly great customer service means is a whole other ballgame. Is great customer service greeting your customers by name and remembering their order? Is it always having someone there to answer the phone when they call? Is it following up after a service is performed to ensure satisfaction?
Customer service can mean all of this and more, and it can mean different things to different people. But, in general, customers expect quick responses to inquiries, knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives, the ability to be contacted in a variety of ways, and to enjoy a consistent experience.
How do you translate great customer service into a strong online reputation?
People are more likely to share negative experiences than positive ones only, and, sometimes, no matter what you do to please your customers, only a few of them will actually end up writing a review for you. Luckily, it’s easy to get glowing reviews for your business; you just have to ask!
So, the next time one of your customers is going on and on about how satisfied they are with your work or how happy they are with your customer service efforts, do yourself a favor and ask them to share their experience online!