Customer service: it’s never been as exciting – or quickly changing – as it is today. New technologies, empowered consumers, and a variety of choices are creating new opportunities and challenges for organizations.
Businesses recognize its importance. According to Forrester research, 90% of customer service decision-makers believe good service is critical to their company’s success, and 56% use it to create a competitive advantage.
Customers are more connected and knowledgeable than ever before, shifting the balance of power to their favor. Clearly, the impact of good or bad customer service is greater than ever, with speed of service being of vital importance:
- 66% of people said valuing their time was the most important thing a company can do for effective customer service.
According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, as reported by Return on Behavior magazine:
- 78 percent of consumers have ended a transaction due to bad service.
- Only 4 percent of dissatisfied customers actually speak up.
- Loyal customers are worth up to ten times as much as their first purchase.
- The probability of selling to a new customer is 5-20 percent, while selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent.
- It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for a single bad experience.
- Negative interactions with a business are spread to twice as many people as positive ones.
- It costs over six times more to get new customers than it does to keep one current one.
- For every customer who complains, 26 others don’t speak up.
Your customer’s loyalty cannot be taken for granted. Customer-focused companies and individuals recognize that relationship-building and follow-up are critical components for promoting both customer retention and long-term revenue growth. When it comes to giving superior customer service, a “one size fits all” approach simply doesn’t cut it.
Customers describe quality customer service in terms of attention to detail and responsiveness. Customer satisfaction surveys consistently point to the fact that the little things make a big difference.
Ready to go the extra mile for your customers? Make an effort to see yourself through their eyes with these tips:
Our 5 Ps of Customer Service
1. Pay attention
Be aware of the small things, the big things, and everything – every detail. Be in the habit of returning phone calls, e-mails and other correspondence quickly. Follow up, follow up, and follow-up.
Stay in contact and keep good records. Be the epitome of efficiency. Take the time to jot down notes from meetings and phone calls, making certain to record all relevant information. Attention to detail will set you apart!
Make every effort to be courteous and as friendly, helpful and kind as possible to each customer – no matter what. Be receptive to their challenges and help your customer overcome them. Treat customers with dignity and respect, and establish a feedback system to monitor how they perceive the quality and quantity of the service you provide.
Explain the details your customers need to know as many times as they need to hear them. Ensure they feel secure in your desire to work with them, no matter how long or what it takes to find effective solutions. Service is not defined by what you think it is, but rather how your customers perceive its value. When it comes to customer service, perception is reality and patience is vital.
Under-promise and over-deliver. Be the solution-finder your customers need. Develop a reputation for reliability and never make a promise that you can’t keep. Your word is your bond. Follow-through on every promise and follow-up to ensure everything is done to your customer’s satisfaction. Be the positive stress-reliever your customers will be thankful for and never forget.
Want to build strong customer relationships? Do your utmost to go the extra mile. In the process, you add value, loyalty and commitment to the relationship. Contact us – The KeyBridge difference comes from our focus on going that extra mile to build patient satisfaction and strong client relationships.