Customer service reps can do a lot for a brand’s image in a customer’s mind. Good customer service leads to happy customers, which means better customer retention. This definitely helps in increasing sales for your brand. This article explains why investing in better-informed customer service is the need of the hour, if you want to increase your sales.
Marketing Metrics, brands have a 60 to 70% chance of selling to an existing customer, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5% to 20%. Also, we are all aware that a satisfied customer can be a valuable source of referrals for the sales team. This is exactly why you need to align your sales and customer service teams, as it will improve the overall customer experience, and help in increasing cross-selling and upselling opportunities.
Here’s four ways in which better customer service will help improve sales performance:
1. Listen and Respond with Enthusiasm – Quickly!
Your customer is looking for help, and it would make his journey much better if your customer service rep makes the customer feel valued. According to Salesforce, 78% of customers ended a business relationship because of poor customer service. Additionally, in the United States, $84 billion is lost annually in revenue due to poor encounters with sales associates, with 61% of consumers switching to competitors.
If you want to avoid losing customer to competitors, get your customer service team to interact with the customer and solve his problem with a sense of urgency. It is critical to respond as soon as possible to a customer’s query, be it on any channel – email, social media, phone, live chat, or any other service platform. A definitive and quick response on each channel can ensure a favorable customer experience. A personalized approach that establishes good rapport with the customer, leaves the customer feeling valued, and increases the chances of them turning into a repeat customer – ultimately building a loyal customer base.
2. Go Public with Your Customer Service
Calling it a public showcase of one’s dirty laundry, JotForm.com CMO Steve Hartert cites the example of how his company’s decision to start a public forum for customer grievances helped them in the long run. “When JotForm founder Aytekin Tank launched our company in 2006, he made a decision that, to skeptics, fell somewhere between shooting yourself in the foot and letting customers pull the trigger. He made the entire support forum public.” Shocking as it may sound for a startup to publicize everything wrong with its product, Hartert adds, “Fast forward 12 years and the forum has a substantial number of support threads, a good number of which of are public. The public forum didn’t shoot JotForm in the foot because the process behind it is smart. The forum became a public record of every problem we’ve ever solved and a DIY guide to troubleshooting. The forum attracts visitors, reduces the likelihood of unresolved problems, and minimizes inbound tickets.”
It’s an example worth following, especially if you want your customers to believe that your product is worth investing in.
3. Reduce Customers’ Effort in Getting Help
Neil Patel quotes a 2007 Customer Contact Council survey which found that 75,000 customers had recently contacted a company for support. “What they found was fascinating,” writes Patel, “Even more than ‘delighting’ customers, what drives customer loyalty most is reducing the amount of work the customer has to do.” Patel suggests removing steps from whatever your customer needs to do to get their problem solved:
- Instead of asking the customer to follow a link and fill out a form to make updates to their account, make the updates for them.
- If the customer wants to return something to you, then send them the shipping label.
- If the customer needs help troubleshooting an issue, set up a screen share on Skype or Google Hangouts and walk them through it.
Going above and beyond your duties to help a customer resolve an issue will help improve the customer experience. And as we have previously established, a happy customer is a recurring customer.
4. Drive Customer Retention Through Customer Satisfaction
A Harvard Business report found that customer retention is a direct result of a customer’s experience through their purchase journey with a brand. The report studied two companies with different revenue models — one transactional and the other subscription-based — using two common elements that are relevant to all industries: customer feedback, and future spending by customers. In order to see the effect of customer experience on future spending, HBR studied experience data from individual customers at a given point in time, and then looked at those individual customers’ spending behaviors over the subsequent year. This is what the report found:
- A customer who rates as having the poorest experience has only a 43% chance of being a customer a year later; whereas, a customer who gives one of the top two experience scores would have a 74% chance of remaining a customer for at least another year.
The report also predicts future membership length based on the quality of experience.
- A customer who gives the lowest score will likely only remain a customer for a little over a year. Compare that to a customer who gives the highest score — they are likely to remain loyal for another six years.
That’s a huge difference, and it depends on how your customer service treats your customer. The report also points out that an unhappy customer is an expensive customer. He’s more likely to return products or more likely to require support. If you solve the source of dissatisfaction, that too with enthusiasm and a sense of urgency, you not only make them more likely to return, you also reduce the amount they cost you to serve them.
At the end of the day, your customer service will have a massive impact on your sales performance. It is definitely worth the effort to improve your customer service and keep customers better informed of your products and services.
Trust us, your sales team will be happy to know that the customers they bring in are being well taken care of.
Do you believe in the power of customer service? How has it helped your sales performance? Let us know in the comments below.
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