Successful organizations understand that consumers pay the bills and great customer service is the key to business success.
According to a Zendesk Customer Service Survey, 81% of customers reported that they shared a bad service experience with family and friends and 59% of consumers who had a bad service experience stopped buying from that company.
The scary thing is consumers are now using social media (45%) to spread the word and more and more consumers are making buying decisions (88%) based on online customer service reviews.
The survey also reports that consumers are sharing service experiences more today (58%) than they were just five years ago and of those surveyed, 54% said they tell at least 5 people about a bad experience.
The good news is you can win customers over by providing a good customer experience. The survey suggests that customers who had a good customer experience (62%) purchased more products or services from the company. Respondents said that resolving problems quickly (69%) is the key to a good service experience.
4 Keys to a Great Customer Service Experience
1. Influence Customer Expectation
When a consumer purchases a product or service they have an idea about how that product will perform or how the service will be delivered. Educating the consumer for what to expect can go a long way in helping to manage their expectations. For example, when I purchase my laptop, I understand from reading the specs how long the battery life will be. If it exceeds that, I’m tickled if it doesn’t perform as described, I’m disappointed. In the same way, when I go to the doctor and am told that the wait time will be 15 minutes, i’m content until about the 20 minute point. Setting the customer expectation is key to managing their response to service and product delivery.
2. System to Address Customer Issues
Things happen and whether it is a faulty product or a less than perfect service experience, every organization should have a system and process in place to quickly correct customer issues. Develop a service recovery process and train employees on how to deal with customer complaints. Track complaints and develop improvement plans based on data.
3. Monitor On-line Chatter
Set up Google alerts for your business so you can know if someone is complaining about your business online. If they are, jump in the conversation and try to remedy the situation as quickly as possible. Most people are reasonable and if you right a wrong you will demonstrate credibility with consumers.
4. Solicit Customer Feedback
Take time to solicit customer feedback by using customer satisfaction survey tools and customer comment cards. Track feedback data over time and create improvement plans based on available data. Conduct customer focus groups to learn about changing customer requirements and develop products and services based on what is learned by talking to the customers.
Customers are the lifeline to all businesses and taking care of their needs and addressing their service and product issues is the best way to attract and keep customers!
photo by: Phil Dowsing Creative