Customer Service Week (ps: it should always be customer service week)
So, I’m at a restaurant with my family and our server is charismatic and funny and has a really bubbly personality.
But she also hasn’t looked at us for almost 30 minutes, and my water has been sitting empty at the edge of the table for at least half of that time.
I’m a little frustrated, but not unduly so; the winning personality and charisma definitely made a difference. But I went quickly from “I’m going to ask for this server when we come back next time,” to
“I’m going to really avoid their section.”
In case you didn’t hear, this week is officially Customer Service Week. If you’ve been with me for a month or two, you already know how passionate I am about this topic.
Of course, the goal is to establish a strong relationship with your customer. But despite what people say, in most businesses, the relationship doesn’t begin when they buy. That would be like meeting your spouse for the first time at your own wedding.
Instead, the relationship begins the very first time they interact with your brand. It’s the “courting” phase if you will. Every time we “touch” a customer — for example, when they provide their contact info either online or in person in exchange for a lead magnet — it contributes to the overall customer experience. And the sum of those experiences will either strengthen or weaken your relationship down the road.
Of course, we all want to ultimately sell something, but sometimes we need to invest more time until the buyer is ready to buy.
After just one date, one person may feel in their gut that the other person is their soulmate. But they’re not going to pop the question until they know the other person is ready. (Not unless they’re looking for the fastest way to chase their new “soul mate” away.) Customer relationships are no different.
Research shows that 70% of the buying experience is based on how the customer feels they’re being treated. I’ve seen studies showing that over 80% of customers left because of bad customer service! Focusing on customer service and retention really isn’t an option. Those investments are critical for long-term success.
You know what else happens when we focus on customer service and retention? Referrals.
The longer the relationship lasts, the more likely the customer will be your advocate and tell everyone how fantastic your products and services are. It’s also much easier to build an arsenal of testimonials and case studies — and those will help you acquire more new customers than ever before.
Customers are more likely to evangelize on your behalf. When the main point of contact leaves an organization, they’re more likely to recommend a business to their new employer.
In a nutshell, not focusing on customer service could cost your business millions. But focusing on it propels growth. In fact, a 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits by as much as 95%!
Companies that hold customer service training regularly outperform their competition by leaps and bounds. Personally, we train with actual calls and recordings every week, and it’s been extremely effective.
Remember that a brand is only as good as its reputation. When customer relationships are weak, they are more likely to bail instead of giving you an opportunity to resolve an issue. Instead of referring to you, they may give you bad reviews. We strive to provide amazing customer service on a daily basis at Newsletter Pro — pre-sale, post-sale, and even when we part ways.
Regardless of a customer care system that is currently performing very well, I’ll be thinking of one more step we can take to strengthen the bonds with our customers. I highly recommend the practice.
If you have something “out of the box” that you currently do, let me know what the impacts are! I’d love to hear about it.
To your success, Alex