In today’s economy, customer service is something you can’t afford to get wrong. It is capable of overcoming the worst marketing campaigns and undercutting the competition, but it must be more than good customer service. After all, good customer service is subjectively defined.
Within the industry, poor customer service typically involves long wait times and lengthier response times, lack of experience and knowledge with company representatives, impersonal and unprofessional interactions, and poor attention to detail.
There are allowances for the occasional mistake to happen during customer interactions, but failing to provide anything less than an exceptional experience can damage your company brand and jeopardize your future. There are several significant, negative consequences of poor customer service.
A Reputation in Shambles
Losing control of your brand’s reputation because of a negative customer experience is a serious blow. With the internet making it easy for people to post their opinions and experiences for the world to see, one wrong tweet or post can erode the confidence of your community or tarnish your name in the market.
Statistics show that 95% of people will tell at least one person of a bad customer experience with a company, while about 54% will share it with more than five people. Social media and online reviews also play a large part in influencing potential shoppers.
The way to fix your reputation starts with reaching out to those who have had bad experiences and trying to make amends. Accepting your responsibility and responding with corrective measures can restore faith in your brand.
The Death of Conversions
Customer service isn’t just for current customers. Any interaction with a lead or prospect falls under the category of needing professional service. When people reach out to your business, they expect a response. If they have a question, they want an answer.
If they make a phone call, they want to reach someone. Failing to deliver on any of these fronts paints a negative opinion of your business in the minds of potential consumers. You have to make the right first impression if you hope to convert leads into sales. Start by relying on an answering service to help with inbound phone calls.
Services like Voicenation allow you to customize your greeting and train virtual receptionists to deliver your brand with friendliness and professionalism. Implementing a CRM system makes it easier for sales personnel to respond to leads more quickly, but it also gives you a snapshot of data for all the consumer interactions that have occurred with your company.
The Decline in Consumer Loyalty
It doesn’t take a business owner very long to find out that it takes more effort to attract new customers than it does to keep your old ones. Delivering exceptional customer service increases the value of the relationship with your consumer, and when the service isn’t there, consumer connections die off.
In a startling statistic, nine of out ten customers will pay more for a product or service if it means they are going to get a good customer experience. You can support the marketing budget by limiting the need for expensive new undertakings when you can satisfy and save current customer relationships.
Your strategy should be about building customer loyalty. Use FAQ pages, webinars, exclusive deals, how-to articles, and loyalty programs to retain customers. Changing your focus from acquisition to retention generally provides the greatest return on investment
The Loss of Quality Employees
Bad customer service won’t just affect your customers. It had a negative impact on all areas of your company, particularly in the area of employee morale. When a customer service problem exists, it usually falls on the quality employee to pick up the slack or bear the brunt of negatively caused by the under- or poorly-performing employees.
The longer the situation is left unresolved, it leads to decreased employee morale, and eventually, burnout. The people you rely on the most-those that actually create a good experience for your customers- will jump ship when they have finally had enough. Your best option is to reward those who are doing well while getting rid of the bad apples.
Your company’s culture has a direct connection to customer service, so making sure your employees are happy and satisfied with their jobs will equate to a better customer experience.
Set the performance bar high and hold employees responsible. Use KPIs to track your employee behaviors and impact, making adjustments as needed to ensure continuity of service.