Not too many years ago, only the largest companies could afford dedicated customer service. That’s not the case today, though. In the Age of Technology, if you aren’t providing world-class customer service you’re losing money.
Are Customer Service Dollars Well Spent?
A 2013 Dimensional Research Survey confirmed the importance of customer service to bottom line sales. Here are just a few of the findings. All percentages are for business-to-business sales, but business-to-consumer sales follow a similar pattern:
- There is no more powerful way to build trust with customers and clients than to provide excellent customer service.
- Good customer service boosts sales. 62 percent of participants said they purchased more from vendors when customer service was satisfactory.
- How many stop buying altogether when customer service is poor? Two-thirds said they would not keep working with a company with poor customer service.
- Do online customer service reviews matter? 88 percent said online sources influenced the buying decision.
- When you deliver less than stellar customer service, does the word get around? 95 percent said they share those experiences with others.
Smart Tools to Help Your Customer Service Soar
Do you want to get better at customer service, but aren’t sure where to start? Here are some suggestions to help. You don’t have to break the budget to take advantage of amazingly powerful customer service tools. Almost any company can find the time and personnel to get started.
- Zipwire is a powerful platform for managing customer interactions. It is a cloud-based system that grows as you grow and can accommodate small start-ups as well as large, established companies. The pricing scales with client needs. Check their inbound info page for a look at what your customer service can easily become.
- What if you built an online community for fielding questions and observations from customers? You can do that readily with the Get Satisfaction system. For small companies with limited resources, this can be a business builder. As the community grows, your staunch supporters will step in to voluntarily help with customer service by assisting their peers. People love to be of value, and Get Satisfaction gives them a place to shine.
- Hootsuite is a time-saver and all-around great friend to have around. You can monitor and manage your social media channels from one dashboard. With a little practice—and maybe some help from Hootsuite University—you can do everything from engaging with customers and vendors to monitoring discussions about you or your brand online. After all, there is no question about whether or not people will talk about you in online media. The only question is whether or not you will join the conversation. Hootsuite apps extend the functionality considerably.
No matter which tools you choose make sure you and your team stop thinking of handling orders as “customer transactions.” Rather, develop the picture of every customer contact to be an “interaction” and develop an ongoing relationship, not a one-time event.
To help with that process, figure out how much each customer brings to your business over the lifetime of your relationship. No one is more important than your customers. Without them, your business can’t survive.
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This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising, graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering, Now what do we do?” We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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By stephen massien 10 Dec 2014
Though most companies will tell you they provide excellent customer service, why is it that this is still the real differentiator for a valued client relationship?