When starting an online business, there are countless factors to consider, from building an intuitive website that works to sourcing inventory. Another area you shouldn’t neglect is customer service. And not just any customer service — quality customer service.
What sets quality customer service apart? Quality customer service always provides positive interactions with customers, whether through a transaction or giving solutions to problems. You should predict their needs and surpass their expectations in all areas of communication. Responses to queries should be prompt, and you should be available as often as possible.
Even better if you have an omnichannel approach to customer service. This is when a company offers multiple channels for customer service, such as a website, social media, and email, and they are all linked together both for customer convenience and so that the customer service agent has a bird’s-eye view of the issue.
Sound like too much effort? Well, you’ll need to get over it because quality customer service will most likely be a pivotal part of your business’s success. Here are four reasons why.
- Customer service boosts customer loyalty
When customers purchase from a business, they expect a certain level of care should anything go wrong along the way. Providing or even exceeding that level of care through customer service creates a positive impression, inspiring loyalty. Customers who are loyal to your business will likely continue purchasing your product or service rather than a competitor’s. According to research from Salesforce, 89% of consumers are more likely to repurchase from a business following a positive interaction.
A positive result of boosting customer loyalty through customer service is customer retention. This is excellent news for your company’s success and spending. It’s actually cheaper to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones.
- Customer service improves sales and revenue
A positive impact of customer loyalty and repeat customers is revenue growth. A report from McKinsey revealed that strategically improving the experience of existing customers will result in more significant revenue growth. Leaders in customer experience have experienced twice the revenue growth of peers that focus less on customer service. Apply this fact to your own business by making purchases seem even more appealing by providing frequent, loyal customers with discounts, free samples, or a loyalty program.
- Customer service helps get you customer referrals
Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. You want your customer service to make such a positive impact that when someone is seeking out a product or service in your niche, your customers will automatically think of your brand and recommend it to a friend, family member, or colleague, whether that be in-person or in the form of a social media post.
Online, this can translate to positive reviews. If you’re confident about customer satisfaction, you can even request they leave reviews on prominent review sites like Trustpilot.
- Customer service gives you a competitive edge
In such a crowded online marketplace, standing out among e-commerce stores offering similar products can be difficult. Fortunately, customer service is one area you can manage to shine.
While branding can take a lot of forms, from advertising to social media posts, customer service is a space where your brand speaks directly with customers. Whether that experience is positive or negative can make or break a customer’s long-term relationship with your business. And as we explored in the previous point, if they leave reviews or discuss your brand with someone else, it can impact how your brand is perceived generally, whether positively or negatively.
This is why it’s essential not to neglect customer service and provide customers with a positive experience. If you become known for your positive customer service experience, people will likely choose your business over a similar one. And once your reputation for providing good quality customer service is established, you can use it to your advantage while promoting your brand.
Okay, so now that we’ve convinced you of the importance of customer service, what steps can you take to improve yours?
Tips for elevating your customer service
Now that you know the why, let’s take a look at how you can take your customer service to the next level.
- Provide proper training to customer service staff: Comprehensive and ongoing training is vital to having an attentive customer service team that always satisfies the customer.
- Anticipate customers’ needs: Troubleshoot potential stumbling blocks on your site and provide everything customers might need so they won’t wait too long for customer service agents to provide a solution. This can take the form of FAQs, knowledgebases, and simplifying the support center on your website.
Get regular feedback: Even if you already have a good customer service reputation, no online store is perfect. Feedback will help you pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses and areas to improve so that you can continue improving.
Cora is a digital copywriter for SSLs.com. Having eight years of experience in online content creation, she is a versatile writer with an interest in a wide variety of topics, ranging from technology to marketing.