Customer service has never been more essential to maintaining strong relations and growing a successful business. When done correctly, organisations are able to stay connected with their customers and have the ability to obtain valuable feedback – but until recently and prior to the advent of the CXO, areas such as product and price occupied higher positions on the agenda of senior management.
In an era saturated with communication methods such as social media, businesses that fail to successfully and continually deliver high-quality customer engagement will fail to remain viable. In fact, it is estimated that by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Not only does good customer service improve the growth of a business, it can also facilitate significant cost savings and efficiency gains. A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10% – not to mention it is 6-7 times more costly to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer.
And with the voice of the customer now more pronounced than ever, how important do individuals feel customer service is?
It’s well-known that people are unlikely to continue to do business with a company after experiencing poor customer service. In fact, 55% of people would gladly pay more for a better customer experience, and in fact, many people also feel customer experience is more important than price when they are deciding on a brand.
80% of businesses believe they provide excellent customer service, but only 8% of customers agree. Poor communications lie at the heart of this – Accenture observes that 89% of customers get frustrated because they need to repeat their issues to multiple representatives while contacting a business, while 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience across the different channels, such as social media, SMS, email, web chat and video as well as voice, that consumers have come to expect as standard engagement methods.
Internet Retailer reports that companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies, enabling their consumers to engage on their own terms as they might through smart devices in their personal lives, retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak omni-channel strategies. With time running out for businesses to meet these customer expectations and gain a competitive edge, cloud technology can provide easy wins for organisations – omni-channel services already live and with short time-to-deploy make the deployment of cutting-edge customer service that will delight consumers an achievable target.
Businesses cannot afford to compromise on delivering good customer service. Happy customers make happy businesses – especially in an anytime, anywhere, anyhow world.