The power of great customer service

By Christa Agius

Bain and Company famously reported, “It costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.” Applying the old Pareto Principle, many are also aware that 80% of business comes from 20% of customers”.
These statistics, as well as many other past studies, greatly highlight the importance of customer retention, but what actually makes customers happy enough to be repetitively loyal to one particular vendor or brand?
Many have the misconception that price is the main reason for customer churn. Whilst having competitive pricing is still vital, the long-term effects of a bad customer experience are often overlooked. High-quality customers would even be prepared to pay a somewhat higher price if guaranteed a better after-sales experience.
The majority of customers who encounter a bad service experience will not inform the vendor about it - they will simply leave and never return. The better part of these customers will also share their experience with others, the increase of consumer review sites and groups on social media making it very easy to do so.
In this way, negative customer experiences can actually have a domino effect. Potential customers tend to do their research before buying. In fact, a recent study social media study by ClickFox found that more than 60% of consumers are “influenced by the perceptions and experiences of their communities”.

The following are four useful tips on how to provide exceptional customer service to encourage repeat business from customers.

Know your customer

Customers like to be treated as individuals. Keeping a record of past interactions with a customer will help to develop a personalised customer profile, allowing for a tailored service to all customers.

Be organised

There is nothing more frustrating than calling a support line and having to explain an issue multiple times to different people. It is essential to set up a structured support process and to make sure that front-line employees are well-informed and know the first person of contact for different issues.

Keep a close eye on social media platforms

Whilst being a great platform for marketing and communication, social media can also taint a company’s reputation in seconds. Any negative public comments have critical response times and should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Gather feedback

It may be useful to follow up with customers, to check whether or not they are satisfied with the service they received. Doing so not only provides an overview of staff performance, but it also offers the chance of mending a negative experience and show customers that their satisfaction is important.

The bottom line is that great customer service is essential to retaining a loyal customer base.

Zendesk, the leading customer service software company, will be hosting their first event in Malta in collaboration with their local partner iMovo, to address customer service issues and discuss help desk best practices.

This is a free event open to all those who are looking to learn more about Zendesk and customer service. To register for the event please visit www.imovo.com.mt.

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