In a world with options, what sets your company apart in the eyes of the consumer?
Is it your competitive prices? Superior product? Convenience for the buyer?
While these may be enough to beat out the competition in some cases, the ultimate factor that will influence whether or not your customers keep coming back is your business’ superior customer service skills.
In an increasingly automated world, consistently high-quality human interactions are proven to lead to repeat business.
I’ve got a great product – why should I care about the customer service offered by my business?
Having a desirable product or service that is in demand, well-marketed, and competitively priced is a strong start and could be the key to securing some initial sales. When customers decide which company to do their repeat business with, though, the customer service that they received in their first interaction with your business will be the deciding factor.
According to Microsoft’s 2020 report on the state of global customer service, 90% of consumers reported that customer service is important to them in deciding which companies and brands to repeatedly patronize. So, it’s well-established that customer service is an important factor to consumers in deciding where they’ll put their money time and time again. Knowing this, there’s no excuse for poor customer service, particularly given the tools that buyers and clients have readily available which allow them to voice feedback about their experience – for better or for worse.
Most customers won’t give your business another chance after one poor customer service experience with around 50% of customers surveyed by Zendesk reporting that they’d switch to a different company after a single poor experience; in Microsoft’s survey, this number included 58% of respondents. Repeated negative experiences are exponentially detrimental, with 80% of participants in the same survey responding that they’d switch companies after more than one poor interaction. With ever-growing competition, businesses simply cannot afford to lose half of their customer base due to singular poor customer service interactions.
Excellent people skills and top-notch customer service from companies may seem like a thing of the past or a relic of pre-technological times, but in reality, expectations of fantastic service are only increasing, with 55% of Microsoft’s survey respondents indicating that their expectations of customer service quality had increased from the previous year. These expectations were the highest among younger age groups, a fact that may go against conventional thinking. The millennial generation is demanding good service; considering that this group accounts for nearly one-quarter of the American population, these demands are not something that businesses can afford to ignore.
What is it that customers ACTUALLY want from their interactions with my business?
Take a moment to think about the reasons why you have chosen to give business to the various companies you interact with, particularly if you’ve conducted multiple transactions with them. Did the individual with whom you interacted make you feel understood? Did they seem genuinely excited about their service or product in a way that made you feel interested and enthusiastic too? Most customers have specific needs and, despite what it may seem like given how common negative customer service interactions are, these needs are not difficult to understand or meet.
According to Zendesk’s 2020 report, their surveyed consumers felt that the most important aspects of the customer service experience were timely, convenient service, and a friendly representative. At face value, providing assistance to customers without a significant delay and with kindness seems to be the bare minimum that a company that wants to be successful could do to ensure repeated business. Any consumer can tell you, however, that many companies are not hitting even these low standards.
On the other hand, respondents to Zendesk’s survey reported that long wait or hold times during the interaction, having to repeat information, and unfriendly representatives were among the top indicators of a frustrating customer service experience. Despite being well-known frustrations, these problems continue to be common.
Developing superior customer service skills doesn’t need to be a struggle
The Service Mentality course from Service Skills clearly illustrates seven simple behaviors that will equip your team with the necessary skills to attract and retain customers. These behaviors include:
While these traits should be prevalent in any member of the workforce, the reality is that many people struggle with consistently employing the necessary behaviors to provide excellent customer service. If your business has ever experienced the impacts of poor service, you don’t need to be told the statistics to understand the negative repercussions this can have. By providing your employees with the opportunity to learn how to hone in on the traits that contribute to a Service Mentality, your customers will appreciate an improved experience, your workforce will enjoy carrying out their jobs more and you’ll see improvements to your bottom line.
To find out more about the seven behaviors that make up the Service Mentality and learn how we can help your organization adopt a customer service mentality, contact ServiceSkills today!