In an age where the mantra “buy experiences, not things” has become so embedded in public consciousness, how do you get customers to buy your products?
Whether you’re a small, medium-sized, or large business, it goes without saying that customer service should be a strong focal point. The way you handle transactions with customers – from the moment they speak to you over the phone, to the point where they make a purchase – creates an experience for them.
In fact, the experience extends past the transaction; it’s not uncommon for customers to call back for troubleshooting and other concerns after.
What’s more is that they’re willing to pay a premium for exceptional customer service – they want to have a positive experience with a brand. A 2014 survey by American Express found that 68 percent of customers were willing to spend more mney with a company that offered great service, and an astounding 74 percent said that they’ve done exactly that in such situations.
The rationale for this is simple. Life is hard as it is, and customers want things to be easy. They also expect to be treated well.
So between a company that offers a suprior product but has deplorable service and one that sells a similar, okay-ish product with excellent service, guess which company customers will pander to.
On the flipside, poor customer service will cost you dearly. Here are some figures from HelpScout.net:
78 percent of customers have decided not to push through with a purchase or transaction because of bad service.
The average business will only hear from 4 percent of dissatisfied customer – 96 percent won’t voice complaints, hence making it difficult to pinpoint issues.
91 percent of dissatisfied customers won’t come back.
It takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for just one negative and unresolved customer experience.
Anecdotes about negative customer experiences reach twice as many people as praise for outstanding customer service.
It’s six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new lead than to keep an existing customer.
Three in five American customers are willing to check out a new company in hopes of getting better customer service.
By contrast, the White House Office of Consumer Affairs has found that loyal customers are worth 10 times as much as their first purchase or transaction with you.
So don’t just sell a product or service – sell your customers a wonderful experience by strengthening your customer service. Simply make sure that your representatives are well-trained and empathic, and that your customer service provides them with a seamless experience across channels.
If you don’t have the capacity for in-house customer service, consider entrusting it with an offshore service provider. Contact centers in the Philippines, for instance, can screen, hire, train, and supervise agents on your behalf. This ensures that your customers receive no less than professional service, and that they associate your brand with a positive experience.
What’s more is that outsourcing to an offshore provider costs a fraction of hiring in-house or on-shore representatives. Cost savings, along with the fact that customers are willing to pay for great service, should be enough to make you take the leap.