Customer service. It’s something that is on the mind of every business leader in America but often can get sorted down on the priority list below things like competitive pricing and advertising strategies. However, any business with customers is in the “people” business, and therefore should be making customer service their No. 1 priority.
“There is only one boss—the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”
Sam Walton, Founder of Wal-Mart
As the brilliant Mr. Walton points out in the quote above, at the end of the day, even the CEO is answering to someone—the customer. Discount prices may have been how he first attracted customers, but the company grew into a billion-dollar operation through continued customer loyalty and high-volume sales, something he achieved through the reputable treatment of both his employees and his customers.
According to a study by Walker Customer Experience Consulting Firm, customer experience will overtake price and product as the brand differentiator by 2020. This means that even if a business is offering a more affordable product or service but inferior customer service compared to its competitor, customers will opt to pay more if it means a more positive overall experience.
Customer service is all about perception and how the consumer feels after an interaction with your company. News of lousy customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for good service experience. Think about it, how often do you take the time to tell a friend about a great experience with a company? Sure, sometimes you do, but probably more often than not, you’re sharing with your friends the terrible experience you had and listing why you now hate this company.
In 2018, businesses are more connected to the customer than ever before. Thanks to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, consumers have come to expect near instant replies to their complaints and queries from the responsible party when posting on social media. In fact, answering a social media complaint increases customer advocacy by as much as 25 percent. Additionally, consumers with positive social customer care experiences are three times more likely to recommend the brand to others.
The bottom line is this: customer care has a direct impact on brand image. If you make customer service a priority, you can grow your business exponentially thanks to word of mouth and customer retention. However, on the flip side, even if you have the greatest product in the world at the lowest price, if your customer doesn’t feel respected, they’ll take their business elsewhere.
At EMB, we pride ourselves on excellent customer experiences, both in person and via our social media platforms. Visit enrichmybrand.com today to learn how we can help you develop a custom marketing plan that will prioritize effective social media strategies to ensure exceptional customer service.