Are you one of the many small business owners who get so caught up in the day to day operational requirements that you have no time left over for activities that could improve your business? The sad part is that shifting your focus to some of these matters – like customer service – could actually have a huge impact on your business.
There is no doubt there are lots of competing priorities when you are in business but I’d argue that one of the most effective use of your time is to focus on providing outstanding customer service. Here are 5 reasons that this matters…
- Great Customer Service is Smart Strategy
There has to be a reason for customers to choose your business and it's generally either quality, service or price. It’s no coincidence that business owners tend to pitch their product or service to prospective customers based on one of those three factors. If you choose to compete on price, you’re intentionally choosing the path to the least amount of profit. That doesn’t make much sense, does it?
Focussing on quality is important but you need service to support this. An awesome pizza delivered late or with the wrong toppings is no longer an awesome pizza!
Anyone who's bought an Apple product knows that their focus on quality is second to none. But those who have experienced the Apple stores, and the phenomenal customer service they provide, also know that this is what really cements the relationship customers have with the brand.
- Good Service means Higher Margins
Did you know that people are happy to pay more for good customer service? Research by StollzNow in 2010 found that 86% of Australian consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. In fact, customers are willing to pay an average of 8.5% more for a superior customer experience. What a difference it could make to your profit margin if you could increase your prices by 8.5% because you offered better customer service than your competitors!
Time for a price rise anyone?
- Good Service Gets People Talking
Outstanding customer service generates excellent word of mouth advertising – and that’s free! A happy customer is likely to mention your business to friends, relatives and colleagues, not just once but many times – and that could send a lot more customers your way.
- Good Service builds an Online Reputation that attracts more New Customers
Wow your customers and it’s easy to get some of them to review your business online. Online reviews leave a permanent track record of your business – which is exactly what people are looking for when they're searching for a business. This online word of mouth marketing can help you build your online reputation, and with so many consumers now turning to online review platforms to research companies before they buy, a positive online reputation can bring significant numbers of new customers your way.
- Good Service results in Customer Loyalty
Perhaps the most important reason to focus on customer service is that good service gets customers returning again and again. We're talking repeat business here – almost always an essential ingredient to business longevity. Without customer loyalty, businesses are forced to cover the cost of customer acquisition in each transaction. Improving customer loyalty is the key to building a strong and healthy business.
It’s a simple equation – if most of your new customers came back, referred more friends, built up your online reputation, and happily paid more because of your wonderful customer service, how much better off would you be? The impact would be dramatic!