Almost Everyone Can Not Be Wrong
I have been writing about customer service for years and sometimes I feel like a broken record. Am I focusing to much on one topic? Is there another way to say this? Why does this one point seem to be so important? A recent study may provide a few answers.
Statistics show that 97 percent of people believe that customer service is the primary factor when selecting a brand or company to do business with. Even after doing business with a company, customer satisfaction is seen as critical in how a person feels about that brand and whether or not they will promote the brand among their friends.
Ninety seven percent! Almost everyone feels the same way about customer service. As a matter of fact, 65% of people are likely to change brands after one incident of poor customer service. An old axiom states that each angry customer ultimately affects 250 people. Social media may have expanded that number exponentially. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we create an atmosphere that makes quality customer service as natural as the sun coming up each morning. How do we accomplish this?
There are three basic steps that can be implemented that will lay a foundation for a quality customer service atmosphere. These steps are generic but may be applied to any business.
1. Make service accessible twenty four hours a day, 7 days per week. Not everyone works nine to five and it is crucial that when a customer perceives that there is a problem they can contact your company at their leisure. Twenty four hour phone support, online contact forms, help desks, contact information and mobile app's all provide opportunities to offer customer service support. These technologies each require a timely response, without it they are useless.
2. Develop a Company wide strategy that clearly outlines the customer service mood you wish to create. Emphasize the type of response you expect when a customer presents questions, complaints, product returns and support requests. Establish acceptable parameters for staff when interacting with customers. Studies show that when people are surprised by quality customer service they tend to remember the incident and tell their friends about it.
3. Think first! This step is critical. When confronted with an angry customer, take the time to think things through. Your calm demeanor may diffuse the situation. Approaching the problem with a professional attitude may not save the immediate customer relationship but it might deter that customer from creating ill will amongst other potential customers. Each step of the customer service process should be thought out in advance.
These three basic steps will help you avoid the costs associated with customers leaving due to poor service. A carefully thought out plan will help create a customer service atmosphere that will serve potential and existing customers. Letting people know that you are committed to customer service creates confidence that you are doing your best to ultimately achieve customer satisfaction.