By now, everyone should realize that customer experience is more than just a short-lived trend. According to the Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon, the “customer experience […] comprises the totality of all impressions that a customer receives from a company during the entire duration of a customer relationship. It includes all individual perceptions and interactions of the customer at the various points of contact (touchpoints) with a company.” In other words, the focus has long been not only on persuading customers to make a purchase, but also on guaranteeing them a pleasant experience in every contact with the company. This increases the likelihood of customer loyalty to the company and the likelihood of a repeat purchase. Therefore, the importance of good service to the customer should not be underestimated.
Customer service is the new marketing and sales engine.Source: Forbes
Why Customer Service Is Important for Companies
According to a survey from Bain & Company, companies that excel in customer experience grow revenues by 4% – 8% above their market.
Use case scenario: All marketing measures have taken effect, and the customer is in the midst of the sales process, i.e. about to make a purchase or sign a contract. Applicable to B2C and B2B, the customer is in a testing phase. In B2C, for instance, he has purchased a piece of clothing whose seams came apart shortly after the purchase. In a B2B situation, a company is testing a demo version of the software used for warehouse logistics in the future, and questions arose during the demo version.
In both cases, customers either contact their sales contact or the customer service team directly. There are two options avaible.
One. There is no room for negotiation. “It is what it is”. Someone tells the customer that the purchase is complete and the garment is not exchangeable. Or, since the customer has not yet signed a contract or purchase the software, he is told that he is not entitled to support. Where will this option inevitably lead? To a negative pre-purchase experience.
Two – Look deeper at the situation to support / investigate. Possibly exchange the garment and at no additional cost to the customer with the photo proof. Similarly, in the B2B example, one would accommodate in answering questions about the system. In both cases, this second option leads to satisfying experiences for the customer felt heard.
Why the second option? The key takeaway for the customer is their experience of how a company meets and handles challenges/problems in the customer relationship. It leaves a good impression of the support and could influence word-of-mouth sharing.
The questions would be: What makes good customer service experience?
- Good customer service is forward-looking, as it recognizes what customers are looking for and need. Sometimes even before the customer himself knows – in anticipation.
- Good customer service strengthens the customer’s trust in the company from the first point of contact of reliability.
- Good customer service leads to customer loyalty and recurring purchases.
- Good customer service is storytelling for the customer.
Sales and marketing may draw customers in, but customer success keeps them happy.
Three ways good customer service improves sales results
In some companies, customer service is sometimes directly linked to sales key performance index to conversion. There are similarities between the two functions for the necessary skills – listening and persuasion.
1. Use Word of mouth to be the ‘organic’ sales driver
From the above use case, the customer had a good experience with customer service while making a purchase. In the future, it can assume with a high degree of certainty that the said customer will tell others about their positive experience and recommend the purchased product. Part of the equation is the power of recommendations.
2. Encourage engagement, and it influences customer loyalty
Customer loyalty and the customer journey goes beyond making a purchase. Today, customers can connect with a company through multiple online and offline channels. Communicate on your customer’s preferred channel, be it phone, email, chat, social media or other new channels.
From a recent report from Microsoft survey, 96% of customers answered that they decide the choice of loyalty of a brand based on customer service experience.
Hence, being contacted directly by the brand ambassador / customer service team gives the brand an upper hand, and extending fast, helpful, polite customer support won half the battle! Sharing of new rewards, events, exclusive advance information about your new products are just a few of many other ideas to engage with your customers.
3. Identify any cross-selling / up-selling potential
After a successful purchase, the sales process has ended and is now in the hands of the customer support team. Not every contact with customer service will have cross-selling potential. When such moments arise at the support level, new packages, upgrades, complementing products, or warranty purchases (i.e Apple Care) can bring more sales opportunities.
From a C-Level, the statistics from The Economist stated 58% voted on the correlation of CEO who is customer-service focused made their company more profitable.
Funneling in, customer service representatives require excellent social skills such as politeness, helpfulness, eloquence and subsequent training to support the company’s sales. Without a doubt, success in customer service requires work, including setting an excellent organizing structure, team support, and tools for customer communications.
A crucial point to note: placing a person on the job without the right tool, training, mindset, and support – will only be counterproductive to the goal of increasing sales through customer service. How are you preparing your customer service team and customer journey for your current customers?
Explore: Customer service software solution from OTRS help companies record, track, manage all incoming requests via email, phone, chat, etc. A customer management module is also available.
If you’re interested in learning more about a modern and collaborative customer service solutions, contact our experts today.