Is Customer Service the New Marketing?
In the sea of different products and services advertised across various media channels, the process of selecting the right product or service has become a bit more challenging for an average consumer. Some companies spend huge amounts of money on their marketing plans and their high advertising budgets quite often manage to push through a product or service to the consumer market even if they’re not so great. With that in mind, the thought process of an average consumer is slightly shifting toward evaluating other aspects of companies. In other words, consumers are not relying solely on what they hear in commercials any more.
In a recently conducted survey, an amazing 90% of the surveyed people claimed that a positive review read online about a specific business had a positive impact on them, helping them make a decision of becoming a client of a specific company. More than 86% of respondents stated that negative reviews had pushed them away from becoming a client or a consumer of a specific product/company. About the same percentage of people (86%) stated that they had quit doing business with certain companies because they had had a bad customer support experience.
In order to gain a new client, a company has to spend at least 5-6 times more than to keep an existing client happy with them. In order to achieve such a goal, customer support has to be outstanding. However, only 10% of the surveyed stated they had received satisfactory customer service. Generally speaking, clients don’t like to complain. They stay silent even when something doesn’t work as expected. What they do is they share their opinions with friends, colleagues or even online review communities.
Therefore, companies should value the feedback they get from clients. Moreover, companies should encourage clients to provide candid feedback and complaints, because that’s the best way for them to learn that something doesn’t work well for their clients. In order to make that process possible, customer support needs to rise to the occasion. Customer support reps must be properly trained and confident in the knowledge they have. Almost 75% of those who cancelled doing business with certain companies stated that the main reason for that was incompetent customer support. Almost half of those who did reach out to customer support to complain stated that they would do it only once and just quit if their questions or issues were not properly addressed. This means that customer support reps have to be available throughout various means of communications (live chats, phone support, tickets, email, etc) and to demonstrate their high knowledge of the product or the system they support. At all times. No exceptions.
To conclude, apart from being an extremely important aspect of the company’s business, customer support is a leading “tool” a company can use to improve customer experience, spread the good word and influence the average consumer. A great deal of prospects around the web, who approach their shopping process only after reviewing companies reputation on various forums, board and discussion groups, evaluates customer support comments with great attention. This makes the customer support team the ambassador of every company. So, choose your CS team members carefully, train them thoroughly and respect them deeply.