Why Customer Service Is More Important Than Pricing
BY: MATT SHEALY ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 08, 2019
One common business strategy to increase sales is to lower the price in order to sell in volume. While this strategy often brings new customers, if the customers have a bad purchasing experience, they will go elsewhere the next time. It costs five times as much to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. This is why having good customer service to help retain existing customers can be more important than pricing.
Customer service occurs before, during, and after a customer makes a purchase. A negative experience at any time during this process can persuade the customer to go to another vendor the next time. Here are some tips on how to provide great customer service.
Make Customer Service Easily Accessible
Good customer service should be easy to find and readily available. Provide your customer service phone number or email on your company website and make it visible from any page. A customer who is already dissatisfied with your products or services will only become angrier if he cannot quickly locate your customer service contact information.
If you can afford to outsource your customer service so that someone can be available 24/7, do so. If you cannot afford such a service, then make sure you have staff available during normal business hours to answer questions and address concerns. Making your customer service representative easy to contact for a pre-purchase question or to resolve a post-purchase issue greatly affects the purchasing experience. Only customers who have had great experiences become repeat customers.
Train Your Representative to be Empathetic
An empathetic customer service representative can make or break a customer’s experience. When a customer contacts your customer service, they are already either unsure of what they should buy or already dissatisfied with a product or service. An empathetic customer service representative puts the customer at ease and resolves the customer’s issue as much as possible (some issues are not completely resolvable).
A flustered or angry customer who feels understood can become a loyal customer, even if the customer service representative could not completely resolve the customer’s issue. In addition, the customer can easily turn from an angry customer to a loyal customer because they felt they were “treated right.” They might even provide the all-important word-of-mouth advertising for your business.
Here are some tips for training your customer service representatives to be more empathetic.
Ensure Your Representative Knows Your Business
Your customer service team must know your products and services inside out. Otherwise, they cannot fully and confidently answer questions about your products or services. The ability to give a full and complete answer can build trust, and trust can turn into sales.
A Knowledgeable Representative Can Cross-sell and Upsell
Another benefit of having a knowledgeable customer service representative is that they can create more sales through cross-selling and upselling. Cross-sell introduces a customer to other products or services offered by you or your affiliate. Upsell makes an upgraded version of the same product or service available to the customer. Both sales techniques are well suited for the customer service representative. As they actively listen to the customer, they can selectively suggest a different product or service that better fits the customer’s needs.
For instance, if a customer purchased a laptop computer and calls customer service because the keyboard is triggering his carpal tunnel syndrome, a friendly and empathetic customer service representative who has quickly gained the customer’s trust can introduce the customer to a more ergonomic Bluetooth keyboard (cross-sell) and an extended warranty for both the laptop and keyboard (upsell). This way, the customer is happy because his additional requirements are fully addressed and you have made additional sales as well.
A good customer service team can be an important part of your business’s success. With excellent customer service, not only can you acquire new customers and retain existing customers who might initially be disappointed in your products, you can also make additional sales. Even if your products and services are not the lowest priced in the marketplace, customers will continue to come to you because of the added value provided by your customer service team.