We all remember that time we called into customer support and were put on hold for hours or aided by a less-than-qualified representative and left to fend for ourselves. The experience was frustrating, delayed and downright displeasing. At that very moment we’d ask ourselves, do I really need to stay with this company if this is how they treat paying customers? With so many options out there, do I need to continue to invest my emotional energy into a service that I can’t rely on or have the pleasure of using? With companies constantly being under pressure to improve their bottom lines and satisfy shareholders, it’s understandable that the first place they look to cut is the cost of an ancillary service, but in doing so, overlook an aspect of the business that’s as important as the product or service they sell. I offer you five reasons why customer service should always remain a top priority.
If your customers can’t use your product they will cancel their service
This is the most obvious reason of all, but it appears to fall on deaf ears of many business owners. If someone calls into support and is unable to have their issue addressed, or frustrated by the time they’ve invested in resolving the problem, they will cancel the service resulting in a loss in sales for the business, plain and simple.
Perceptions are formed by the customer service quality a business delivers
More times than not, a business that’s been around for decades, has an in-demand product, and that holds onto a loyal customer base, can suffer at the hands of pain by perception. Take Dell for instance. A recent support call I made to inquire about upgrading a component of my PC led me on a wild goose chase. First I was routed to an international call center (during US hours) where I was asked a series of questions – having dialed the customer service number directly – before being transferred to a specific business unit, speaking with an individual who provided me with the wrong information, and ended up with me ordering a part that was too big for my terminal and that I now have to ship back. Your product may be solid, but if after becoming a client of yours I find myself treated as second-rate, I ain’t buying from you again.
Replacing phone support with only live chat and email will cost you in the long run
As a business scales up, maintaining only chat and email support will not suffice. As a company grows so do your products, which get more sophisticated and means your customers will need to as well. Not everybody adapts to new innovations on the same level; those that have a steep learning curve will require more catered help that cannot be addressed by merely skimming through a few user guide pages. While taking phone support as an option off the table may save you some money, you’ll probably end up costing yourself more in lost business than you would have gained from the investment in live call representatives. Here at Erply, we put customer support at the forefront of our mission statement because we realize that every time we walk into a store, we become a direct recipient of the service that our products provide others.
Good customer service will get people talking about your company
Part of a customer’s overall perception of your business is the help and attention they got when they had an issue and the follow-through they received on their end. The sooner a customer is back up and running, the sooner they can rave about how your offerings are benefiting them or even their own business. Fittingly, the NY Times found that 65% of new business comes from referrals. If that statistic holds true that means it’s equally or more important for a business to keep their existing clients happy if they wish to continue their growth.
A strong customer support center is a sign that a business truly cares about their clientele
The last thing a patron wants to feel is that a business’ only concern is to get you to pay for their service and then put you on the back of their priority list. Ever notice when you dial a company’s sales line or call to cancel your subscription you’re treated with greater regard and eagerness than when you speak with somebody in the customer relations department? This should not be the case. All services aren’t 100% reliable, but when push comes to shove, the way you respond to the individuals that keep your company afloat reveals a lot about the values and empathy you hold towards others.