Customer service is the support you offer your customers — both before and after they buy your product — that helps them have an easy and enjoyable experience with you. It’s more than just providing answers; it’s an important part of the promise your brand makes to its customers. And it’s a critical to the success of your business. Why?
Customer service can have a big impact on your bottom line.
It’s often said that it’s cheaper to keep existing customers than to find new ones. (Some even estimate that acquiring customers costs 6-7x more.) And it’s true: bad customer service is a key driver of churn. The U.S. Small Business Administration claims 68% of customers leave because they’re upset with the treatment they've received. Unacceptable! Prioritizing customer support helps you attract and retain quality customers.
Customer support can make or break your reputation.
It’s no surprise that as today’s social, mobile consumers have grown accustomed to getting what they want, when they want it, their expectations have risen accordingly. In fact, in a recent poll, 82% of CEOs reported that customer expectations of their companies were “somewhat” or “much” higher than they were three years ago. And customers are quick to share negative experiences online. Now the products and services you offer are only as good as the service you back them with — so it’s important to support customers on every channel from day one.
Customer service is critical to competing effectively.
In the past, people chose which companies they did business with based on price or brand, but today the overall experience is the driver. Gartner reports that 89% of companies now expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, versus 36% four years ago. Customer support is a major driver of customer experience, but only if you expand the role of your support team beyond the purely reactive role many of them play today. When support agents are empowered to go above-and-beyond with customers, or have a helpdesk solution that makes it easy for them to upsell or cross-sell relevant services, they can create winning experiences that help you stand out from the competition.
Customers are willing to pay more for a better experience.
Focusing on the customer experience isn’t just the latest trend — it’s also smart business. It turns out that making every touchpoint great doesn’t just make customers love you; it can also increase your profits. Surveys have shown that 86 percent of consumers would pay more for a better customer experience. You may decide to tier your customer base if some are willing to pay more for premium experiences, including support, early access to features, or other benefits. Either way, your bottom line will benefit.
Support is an integral part of the product experience.
The line between products and services is blurring, and customer service has become part of the product itself. (Think Amazon Mayday button — it’s a totally seamless way for customers to get help.) It may seem like only a big technology company thing, but even small companies are building product into their customer experiences. Some start by integrating their support centers into their headers and footers or by adding links to relevant support articles to specific pages on their site. And many app companies are adding a way for customers to log tickets within their product experience. In-product support is the wave of the future. A quality helpdesk solution can help with these ideas and more.