Customer Service: The Competitive Advantage For Your Business

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“Everything starts with the CUSTOMER.” – June Martin

Customer service is becoming more and more important to businesses, as competition increases and customers become increasingly tech-savvy. There are more ways now than ever to improve the customer experience, and companies need to stay abreast of trends in customer support and service.

Making customer service a strength CAN and WILL turn your business into a profit center, if you know how.Click To Tweeteverything starts with the customers

What IS customer service, and is it REALLY that important?

Customer service is the service you provide to your customers BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER the sale. Other definitions would also include the advice given by a company to those people who buy or use its products and services. Everything your employees do when they are facing a customer is important to your business, and automatically a part of your company’s customer service.

The details are important – even a company employee driving a company truck home for the evening can affect how your customers see you! These all have to be taken into account for coming up with an effective company strategy for customer service. Companies need to realize that your brand is reliant on the customer experience, and it is the most important thing in modern business practice. The customer experience can and will make your company go Boom or Fizzle!

The Relationship between Customer Service and your Bottom Line

“Businesses are losing $62 billion per year through poor customer service.” (Hyken, 2016)

Customer service can have a BIG impact on your bottom line! When we say it is the most important thing to business success, there is a reason. Customers will buy, and keep buying, if they are happy with a company. If they are not happy they will jump ship.

“Have you switched to a different business as a result of poor customer service? The result was that 49 percent of respondents reported switching, and of those, 67 percent switched more than once. The main reasons were that the customers felt unappreciated, encountered unhelpful/rude staff, were redirected to multiple agents, were not able to speak to a person on the phone, were not able to get answers and were put on hold for too long. Another interesting stat was that the baby-boomer generation (55 or older) were least likely to switch, with only 27 percent indicating that they would switch as a result of poor service. Of the 25-34 year olds, referred to as the millennial generation, 62 percent were willing to switch.” (Hyken, 2016) Millennials don’t like shoddy customer service and neither do the Gen X’ers!

Customer Service: Your Reputation, Competition, and the Total Experience

customer service

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffet

Your reputation depends on customer service. Do you know for a fact if it is in good hands? If your customer support center is more worried about call times and contact scores than giving your customers the best customer service, are they really right for you?

At iCCS, we get customer service. We will put our money where our mouth is, and show you why we are the best. We will give you a short contract time initially, knowing that when you see how good we are at what we do, you will renew for a longer time. Customer service will make or break your reputation as a business – let us help you make it stellar!

Customer service will make or break your reputation as a business – let us help you make it stellar!Click To Tweet

“Unfortunately one unhappy customer is likely to do as much damage as ten happy customers can do good, so you need to get this right a lot more than you get it wrong just to keep your reputation stable. If you want to go beyond the average and stand out from the crowd, you need to repeatedly impress your customers in many ways that your competition do not.” (Starak, 2016)

Ask yourselves – Is your call center helping you impress and retain your customers? Or are they turning customers away without realizing it?

“The customer experience IS the next competitive battleground. “ – Jerry Gregoire

Customer service is critical to competing effectively. As we mentioned before, especially with millennials. Brand loyalty is not as strong with millennials, and you are only as good as your company’s current drive to give the best customer experience.
Is customer service a constant focus for your company? If your competition fully supports their customers but you don’t, where does that leave your company? Not where you want to be one can assume.

“Customer support plays a big part in creating a great customer experience. One way to make sure your company emphasizes support is to think of support as part of the product. This means developing your support experience as an integral part of the customer experience and making sure it contributes significantly to customers’ needs. The customer experience you offer depends on that seamless product support that assures customers they made the best choice and helps you deliver on your promises.” (Bean, 2016)

Have you made the best choice for your customer support call center?

Stellar customer service equals a better experience for your customer. The entire customer experience needs to shine. We all know this – when your customers are happy, they spend more money. This has been proven time and again. This one fact should have you not wanting to ever have an unhappy customer. Happy customers stay customers and they tell their friends. Unhappy customers tell their friends as well. These concepts are simple, but true, and unfortunately, sometimes they just get lost in the shuffle. A good customer experience never goes out of style!

The most important thing to remember is this – Happy customers buy more! The law of averages applies.

The most important thing to remember is this - Happy customers buy more!Click To Tweet

customer service well taken care off

“One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” – Jim Rohn

Customer support is THE integral part of the product experience.

It doesn’t just start when a problem arises. Sometimes it starts before a customer is even in the fold.

Say a customer has a question about a product before they buy – How the customer service rep handles that phone call can create a customer for life, and it can also cause a potential customer to never do business with a company!

This is where we have to truly look at customer support. What is the customer service agent trying to do? They are there to support and service the customer. That is it! Whatever that entails. They need to go above and beyond to help every customer. They need to answer the questions, anticipate new issues, and solve problems. So many companies lose sight of this with metrics, call times, and restrictions in place to save the company money while retaining customers. The question we often ask is – do you want to simply retain customers or do you want to optimize and gain more customers than ever by having an impeccable customer support team?

Go above and beyond to help your customers.Click To Tweet

This brings us to the cost of bad customer service.

It is innumerable.

A disgruntled customer spoils the whole bunch. They tell everybody they know, especially if it is a really bad experience. That is why the cost is so hard to quantify. If one customer is lost, that is bad enough. What happens when they start war on your company? That is when you have an issue, and when the cost of bad customer service can really escalate without you realizing it.

Just like good customer service makes happy customers who tell their friends, the same applies to poor customer service. With bad reviews and the internet, etc. this causes almost a threefold loss of customers.

Bad customer service equals bad karma equals a bad bottom line. It can sometimes take years to remove a bad review. This fact makes it a priority for every business to have a customer care and support team that is top notch and effective in every way.

Is your customer service strategy in place and effective at creating customers for life?

How to Up the Notch with your Customer Service

customer service care

“Your customer doesn’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” – Damon Richards

Some tips for the best customer service are very simple –

1. Invest in the BEST PEOPLE. This doesn’t have to be expensive though. At iCCS, we hire only the best customer service reps, and this can save you money in the long term. Training is part of investing in the right people. The right training programs and staff button up the best customer service reps, and keep them in the right mindset.

2. Have a WHITE GLOVE attitude for customer service. Remember – the details matter. Create a customer service guideline for all employees, for every customer touch point in your business.

3. LISTEN. Usually, the customer just wants to be heard. Listen emphatically, and try to keep control of the problem. Let them know you understand the issues. Take your time and listen to the real problem. Let the customer tell you what will make them happy.

4. Keep it POSITIVE. If your customer is complaining, listen, then Refocus – start to let them know what you can do for them, then solve the problem. Do this all in a friendly, non-combative tone. Tell them when help is available, and to consider it done. Don’t tell them you can’t until a certain date, tell them you can at a certain date and will. Positive language trumps the negative any day.

Extending Your Voice. Extending Your Brand.

You extend your company’s voice with your customer service. It becomes a part of the culture of who you are as a company.

Do you want to be known as having the very best customer service in your industry? Of course you do! Did you know you can still do this on a budget, and for less than some spend on terrible customer service? It is true!

You have to start with the right team. Do you have the right customer service team in place currently?

Let us help. iCCS is adept at helping you put a customer service Voice in front of your company. When you have a customer service voice, you gain Brand Ambassadors.

Put a customer service Voice in front of your company.Click To Tweet

Imagine – your customers sing you praises at every turn. They buy more. They become family. They tell their friends and family and co-workers and strangers. Companies prosper and the cogs of prosperity turn. It all starts with a customer, a company, a product, and we are off! Customer service ties this all together. It is how you look at it again, and that is what it comes back to – treat the customer as your brand ambassador, and they will be!

There are many call centers in the world, and particularly good ones in the Philippines. Unfortunately, a lot just don’t get the real essence of Customer Service. Customer service is an art form. It is delicate. So many companies have lost the art, mainly because they don’t consider it an art. It has become a number, a metric, an endless pursuit of the almighty dollar.

“When the customer comes first, the customer will last.” – Robert Half

It is and always should be about the customer. If you are in need of a customer service partner who will value your customers, and create brand ambassadors, iCCS is the call center for you. We live and breathe Customer Service, and we understand the critical role a customer support partner plays in your company’s success. Hiring us would mean saving money, getting a better product, and having a partner that you can definitely rely on (sleep like a baby at night!). Get better customer support for your company now.

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