78% of consumers have bailed out of a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience [American Express Survey, 2011]. That’s a lot of lost customers. Some companies believe that customer service is just about keeping buyers happy… just happy enough not to complain. This simply doesn’t work anymore, on average; loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as once off purchase. A loyal client base is vital to a retail business as they form the core of your business with repeat business and referrals.
Here are some ways Customer Service Increases sales:
Customer Service for Existing Customers
We have all heard that it costs more to attract a new customer than to keep your existing ones. So it is logical that more companies are developing strategies to engage customers post sale. By having customer-centric customer support post sale a company will keep repeat business numbers high. This is particularly important when trying to keep customers after Christmas. Giving existing customers the “inside scoop” on the latest deals that are coming in the future will greatly increase their confidence and worth. These repeat customers also give you the chance to educate people on the other products and services you may have.
Feedback and Customer Service
The important thing here is identifying whether your business is meeting or exceeding your customer’s expectations. According to “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. Identify the reasons for a poor customer experience and fix the problem internally. Every issue dealt with is another step in the direction of better service and thus increased sales volume.
Upselling through Customer Service
An obvious point but it is often overlooked when a company is busy or inexperienced with customer service calls. By outsourcing to a call centre you are guaranteed expertise in the field and therefore more upselling opportunities. It is the conversational style and product knowledge that gives call centres the edge when upselling. Their sole focus is the customer whereas your in-house team has that and much more on their plates. Product/service knowledge is the key for upselling, knowing what the customer wants before they say it. When a call centre agent takes 25 calls a day regarding a product their level of familiarity with it and the customers who buy it grows and grows.
In conclusion, great customer service not only satisfies customers but it exceeds their expectations. It is about going the extra mile, loyal customers becoming advocates for your business and finally, extra custom coming your way rather than towards your competitors. A lot of companies will get extra custom this Christmas but it will be the companies with excellent customer service who keep them after Christmas.