How better customer service will make you more profitable

Why is customer service so difficult? It shouldn't be should it?


I buy a product or service, I’m super happy with it and would purchase it again. But then I never hear from the company again. Surely this must have happened to you also?


What happens is that they lose me as a customer and potential brand ambassador. If this happens with me, it’s likely to happen with other customers and lead to an overall loss in sales and profits. And it's totally avoidable.



The company may say they struggle with sales, but my impression is that they don’t care. This might not be the case and very often isn't either, but businesses need to understand how poor customer service affects brand loyalty, referrals, marketing retention and branding, and improving it can boost their profits. The brand reputation is damaged.


Apparently, more than half of customers would pay higher prices if they knew they were getting a better service. Read that again? If that doesn't read potential I don't know what does.


I recently read a blog by Salesforce that had collated statistics from multiple reliable sources. Some of the data points are not new, but they are worth repeating as business owners are clearly missing out.




Here’s the important statistic. It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one negative one. That is how much we rely on reviews, word of mouth etc. In simple terms. You cannot ignore customer service no matter how amazing your product, branding or service solution is.


89% of businesses have stopped contracts due to bad customer service. I’m sure if you think about it - how often have you worked with a brand or company and had a bad experience where you’ve made the decision never to return? If they’d reached out to you to ask for your experience and done something to rectify the situation, would they have been able to change your mind?


For most people, the answer is yes because we all want to feel cared for and special. You should do the same in your business and with your customers. Show them you care by asking them if they’re happy. Build a brand that cares and make people happy.


83% of online customers require some form of online customer service while making an online purchase.


45% of transactions are cancelled if their questions or concerns are not dealt with quickly and efficiently.


65% of purchases come from referrals. If you don’t keep your first customer happy - how will you get them to recommend you?

People are four times more likely to make a purchase if it’s referred to by a friend or colleague. And they are likely to spend over 50% more than other customers.




Can you really ignore these facts? Are you losing customers for simple reasons that could have been avoided?


  1. Always be transparent about what is happening. If things take longer than expected, tell the customer without trying to hide it.

  2. If your price is higher because of other fees, tell your customers where the money goes.

  3. And for you, the retailer… be transparent about refunds and returns. There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than a shady return policy. It will never work in your favour unless you are deliberately trying to scam the customers.

  4. Are you selling a service and are double-booked or running late? Be honest and human. You’ll be surprised how much sympathy there is out there compared to if you’re trying to make up an excuse.

  5. Always provide a contact number and email where customers can get hold of you. Be sure to answer within 24 hours. The quicker, the better.

  6. If you have a lot of similar questions and situations, consider putting an FAQ on your website. Direct customers to take a look to see if they can figure out the answer they are looking for.

  7. Install a quick bot that can answer the most basic answers. However, don’t make a bot that is trying to be a human. It doesn’t work anymore. Just be honest that you have a bot. Most customers will be fine if they have a question. If not, always have another alternative to hand.

The main thing you have to keep in mind is marketing retention = keeping your existing customers.

As I mentioned at the beginning, my experience with the lack of attention to retention marketing is staggering. Small consumable products that I need to buy over and over again, yet I don’t get a reminder or offer or note to welcome me back. This is a massive loss of potential income and profits. Here are some quick tips to consider:




  1. Always keep an email list

  2. Segment your customers

  3. Keep in regular personal contact. Nobody wants to feel like they are one of the masses. Everyone wants to feel special.

  4. Email me to say thank you and ask if I’m happy

  5. Email me when it’s my birthday with an offer

  6. Email me a week or two after my purchase and ask about my experience

  7. Email me a couple of months after and talk about if I’d like to buy again

  8. Email me and ask me to follow you on social media

  9. The list goes on and on… yet so many companies do nothing, and it’s money lost


I will leave you with one more statistic to mull over about the importance of customer service for your branding.


It costs you up to 7 times more to attract new customers compared to retaining an existing one.

So, think about it, do you really want to spend more money to attract new customers, when all you need to do to help your profits is to keep in touch with your customers who have already said yes?!


 

Anna Seefeldt is your practical, straight-talking brand strategy consultant. She founded Pink Pineapple to help small business owners build strong brands that allow them to elevate to the next level and run successful enterprises. By collaborating with experts in supporting fields like designers and photographers, she has all your brand needs covered. Anna loves all things champagne, shoes & tea! Join her with a cup of tea to share about your business needs by contacting her here! #customerservice #retention #branding #brandstory #whatisbranding #brandimage #pinkpineappleconsulting #knowyourbrand #smallbusiness #knowyourcustomer #zebrajojophotography #marketing #brandstrategy #brandreputation