Customer Service is a 24/7 Calling And Should Not End at 5:00pm
Most businesses that meet with even moderate success have a decent understanding of what they do, but a surprising number—the majority of businesses in many industries, in fact—have lost sight of who they do it for. Your customers are an absolutely indispensable part of your bottom line, and sacrificing customer service is a poor way to save a buck. In the end, spending a tiny bit extra to deliver a whole lot more is a much better way to boost your bottom line and improve your customer retention and acquisition rates. Providing 24/7 service is a great way to accomplish this, and it’s more affordable than you might think.
Answer the Call for Better Customer Service
Ask most consumer-oriented businesses what the most decisive factor is when it comes to standing out from the competition and making the sale, and they’ll tell you it’s price. If you can offer the same basic product or service for less than your competitors, the reigning wisdom says, you’ll be everyone’s first choice. While price is an important consideration, recent research shows that it’s actually in second place, just behind—you guessed it: customer service. If you can come close to your competitor’s prices but offer superior customer service, you’ll turn more prospects into paying customers and you’ll keep them around a lot longer, which means lower acquisition costs and higher rates of referral business.
The same study found that 69% of customers equate good customer service not to problem-free transactions, but to the quick resolution of problems when they arise. A negative experience handled promptly and professionally can actually improve customer loyalty and increase purchases! Meanwhile, 72% of of people surveyed said the need to explain their problem to multiple people was a major cause of a bad customer service experience, and 39% of customers with a bad experience will continue to avoid that business more than two years later!
Putting customers on hold, making them go through multiple transfers without any internal communication, and simply being unresponsive when your customers decide to contact you is all bad for business.
When You Drop the Ball, The Word Spreads Fast
Bad customer service isn’t just immediately harmful. According to one study, someone who has a bad customer service experience is likely to tell 9-15 people about that experience, and 13% tell 20 or more people. If they take to social media, the number of people who hear about a bad experience can reach the thousands—in some cases, even millions!
Virtual Receptionists Boost Efficiency and Profitability
The solution is simple: be there to provide outstanding, in-person customer service whenever a question or problem arises. 24/7 responsiveness with trained, informed, pleasant professionals is the way to go, and the right answering service can help you do this affordably no matter how small your business is.