Updated November 6, 2023
Why is Customer Support Important?
When you look back at your own experience, chances are, there will be only a few times when you were truly bowled over by the customer support service that made you feel you are a special customer, not just another ticket.
Most companies, even the more established ones, overlook customer service, which often makes or breaks a company. It’s also pertinent that customer services are spread across all organization departments.
Let’s find out why customer service is important for all parts of your business.
Great vs Good Customer Support
It needs no mention that people love the good customer support. Still, many organizations settle for a “good” service rather than treading that extra mile to keep customers happy.
The key difference between “great” and “good” customer service is that in the latter case, you’re doing only the minimum to keep your customer satisfied. But in the first case, you’re not only keeping them satisfied by going much beyond to retain their loyalty.
Great customer support not only puts a smile on your customer’s lips but also helps to understand them, define your organization, and, most importantly, impact your bottom line.
The White House Office of Consumer Affairs found that loyal customers are usually worth 10 times their first buy. Also, acquiring a fresh customer is 6-7 times more costly than keeping the current one.
Never settle for good customer service. Try to exceed their expectations. And if you want to steal a mile over your competitors, out-support them.
Customer Support isn’t only one department.
Stop looking at it as a single department within your company. This should be the first step if you want your customers to return.
At some point, every member of your staff should be involved in your customer support system. Whether it is the quality control manager checking and rechecking the manufacturing process, the logistics department that ensures goods reach retail points on time, or the front-desk executive answering phone calls and emails, several persons are involved in their capacity to lend customer support.
Great customer service can bolster your company’s departments and help them achieve their goals. The software company, Wufoo, uses support-driven development (SDD), where the firm’s engineers help with customer support tickets for a few hours every two weeks.
It helps teams work on appropriate things and also focuses on solving customer problems.
Knowledge gained from customer service also helps the sales team reach its goals. Besides keeping current customers loyal, great customer support inspires word-of-mouth publicity. That’s why businesses with satisfied customers usually grow promptly and exponentially.
Making customer service work across your company
You can make customer support deliver for all departments in your company in many ways. In some organizations, it means that all employees in the team—irrespective of their job roles—jump in to help with customer support. In many other organizations, everyone on customer support is just a way for working through tickets till the time it reaches the tipping point when it then assumes a full-fledged role. It often becomes a component of company culture for many.
Web-based project management software company, Basecamp, pulled in its employees to help with customer service tickets because of the rising demand. But they soon discovered greater advantages than merely getting the tickets answered quickly. “Putting designers, programmers, and everyone else in direct contact with customers isn’t about putting out fires; it’s about fire safety. It’s about having conversations that lead to better products in the first place,” says Emily Triplett Lentz, author, and brand consultant. A typical company usually hears from 5% of its unhappy customers. Such proactive support could be a great tool for resolving problems even before they crop up and retaining customer loyalty.
Why is it important?
- Many companies consider customer satisfaction as a marketing jargon that measures how the products and services of a company can meet or exceed customer expectations.
- Customer satisfaction is important because it gives business owners and marketers the metrics to manage and improve the business.
- In a recent survey of about 300 senior marketing managers, more than 70% said customer satisfaction is a useful metric for monitoring and managing their business.
Why is it important in business today?
Following are some reasons why it is important.
1. Indicator to customer repurchase and loyalty
Customer satisfaction is the best indicator of the likelihood of a buyer purchasing your product or service in the future. You can ask your customers to rate their service satisfaction on a scale of 10. It’s a nice way to check whether they’ll repeat customers. Even if they don’t, a higher rating means they’ll advocate the product.
Customers who rate you seven or above can be considered as satisfied. You can safely expect them to return and avail of your products and services again. But customers rating nine or 10 are your advocates you can leverage to become your company’s evangelists.
Customers can be put on a watch list and followed up. This will determine why the level of satisfaction is low. A score of six or below is a warning sign of customer dissatisfaction and the risk of them leaving.
That’s why measuring customer loyalty and repurchase is one of the major business metrics.
2. A point of differentiation
Satisfaction is a major differentiator in a hugely cutthroat marketplace where companies compete to grab customers. A business that succeeds under such an environment makes customer support a core element in their business strategy.
Take two companies that offer a similar product or service. How will you choose one of them? If someone has recommended you one of the two, will that swing your opinion? Maybe. But how did the recommendation come up? A good customer service experience most likely backs it. Companies that offer outstanding customer support create an environment with plenty of customer advocates and high satisfaction levels. This is how customer satisfaction can go the full circle. Not only do the customers promote your brand, but they also return to repurchase. Customer satisfaction helps you keep a pulse on your existing clientele and acts as a point of differentiation for new buyers.
3. Lessens customer churn
Accenture’s 2008 global customer satisfaction survey report found that product or service pricing is not the key reason behind customer churn. It’s actually because of the poor overall customer service.
It’s advisable to emphasize bettering customers’ expectations and make them feel valued at every opportunity. Devise a system and carry it out for six months. After that time, measure their satisfaction levels again and check whether the new initiatives return positive or negative customer satisfaction.
4. Increases the CLV
A study by business services company InfoQuest has revealed that “fully satisfied customers” contribute at least 2.6 times more towards the company’s revenue than less satisfied customers.
Satisfaction plays a major role in how much revenue a customer contributes to your business.
To be successful, a business has to understand the significance of customer lifetime value (CLV). When CLV increases, it leads to an increase in return on investment (ROI).
CLV is a beneficiary of high levels of both customer satisfaction and retention. You must reach that level of service so that customers come back and spend more on your products and services.
5. Decreases negative word-of-mouth publicity
McKinsey discovered that an unhappy customer would tell 10-15 persons about the experience of using your product or service. More than 14% of your unsatisfied customers will tell at least 20 people about their experience of buying a product or service from you. That’s quite a lot of negative publicity. How much that’s going to affect your goodwill in the industry?
Customer satisfaction is closely linked to repeat purchases and revenue. But many companies forget how customer satisfaction can negatively impact the business. It’s one thing to lose a single customer because he/she was unhappy, and it’s another thing to lose 30 customers because of negative word-of-mouth publicity by that customer.
To eliminate negative word-of-mouth publicity, you must continuously measure customer satisfaction levels. Tracking changes in satisfaction levels would help you identify whether customers are happy with the product or service.
6. It’s less expensive to retain existing customers than get new ones
This is perhaps the most publicized customer service statistic out there. Marketers say it’s seven to eight times more costly to get a new customer than retain the existing one. Now if that doesn’t strike a chord, then there’s nothing more one can do to demonstrate the importance of customer satisfaction.
As already said, customer acquisition is an expensive exercise. The marketing team has to spend thousands of dollars to attract the attention of prospective customers, nurture them to leads, and close them to sales.
Why is little or no money involved in customer retention? For instance, you have allocated a fifth of your marketing budget. How will that help you to improve customer satisfaction and retain your existing customers?
Following are some strategies you can follow in this regard.
- Use blogs to educate your customers
- Send special promotions and offers via email
- Use customer surveys to record their demands
- Delight your customers by extending personalized buying experiences
- Measure the satisfaction to check out how happy your customers are
Leading consultancy services firm, Lee Resources, found out in a study that 26 other unsatisfied customers remain silent for every single customer complaint.
That’s alarming numbers. Most companies believe they are the best in business and have no unsatisfied customers. But the reality is 96% of unsatisfied customers never file a complaint. They simply leave and don’t come back.
Customer service plays a major role in your business. It’s the leading indicator for measuring customer loyalty. Identify your unhappy customers, reduce churn, and increase revenue. It’s also a key point of differentiation that helps to attract fresh customers in a competitive business environment. It’s also one of the most important parts of the product or service marketing mix. Top-quality customer service goes a long way toward creating customer loyalty. Remember, customers today are not merely interested in the product or service they are buying but also in the add-on elements they get. From the smiling front-office executive who welcomes customers with a smile to the refund they receive if they are unhappy with the product, everything counts in customer satisfaction. And this is where businesses have to be top-class, ruling out all possibilities of complacency.
Motivating your employees properly and constantly for quality issues is key to ensuring better customer service. At the same time, it’s important to include your employees in the decision-making process about customer support. Make no mistake. They have to be in direct contact with your clients. They have to meet them in many cases and will have the most appropriate ideas regarding client servicing. This is one aspect that can’t be ignored. If your employees get an opportunity to communicate their ideas, they will become responsible for extending that service. As a result, they would want to be as good as possible.
The only expense a company may incur in such situations is the cost of regular employee monitoring research connected to the motivational baggage. The results can make employees think of further innovations to the customer service system. That will also eliminate lapses in service. The rest will become a part of the company’s culture which will drive itself on.
This has been a guide to Customer Support. Here we have discussed the basic concepts and why customer support is important in business today. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –