Excellent Customer Service – Is It Dead?
Ask your typical American consumer and, chances are, they’ll tell you customer service is dead. The days of warm greetings—in person and over the phone—followed by intelligent and informed conversations with representatives who truly seem to care are behind us, with automated self-service, brusque brush-offs, and abrupt disconnections now the norm.
Most of this has been done in the name of reducing business expenses, but does it really work? In a world where consumers have more choices than ever before, and more opportunity to vent their particular frustrations publicly and noticeably, doesn’t it seem likely that poor customer service is costing businesses far more in revenue than it saves in expenses?
Focusing On the Customer Delivers Revenue Returns
The answer to the above question, as you might have guessed, is a resounding “yes.” Investing in quality customer service will pay off major dividends in terms of increased customer loyalty and new customer acquisition in every industry. And the more competitive your industry, the bigger the payoffs. A Forbes study that ranked nearly 300 US-based companies for customer satisfaction makes it pretty clear that bottom-line growth and stability is directly tied to how well companies give their customers and clients the personal attention and service they’re after. Customer service rankings are highest in industries where companies can’t make sales without direct customer interaction—supermarkets, fast food, and even investment firms rank highest.
The lowest ranked companies tend to be found for telecommunications providers (from cable and Internet providers to cell phone companies), airlines, and health insurers—businesses where consumers have somewhat fewer choices, and where it’s easy to forget that they are the reason the business exists at all. In those industries, though, there are some significant outliers who provide better-than-average customer service and who see better-than-average revenue and retention rates as a result.
A case study from the airline industry shows that poor customer service that results from cost-saving measures does nothing but engage competitors in a race to the bottom. Companies that cut costs by reducing the quality of their service are chasing after a shrinking number of consumers concerned only about price, and they’re not even successful at that. Being able to speak with live customer service reps over the phone and to have questions or problems addressed competently is what makes a business stand out and keeps revenues flowing smoothly, no matter what industry the business is in.
Answering Services Give the Best of Both Worlds
Providing world-class, competition-crushing customer service with a world-class call center partner doesn’t have to be costly, either. Partnering with a 24×7 answering service can give you the retention and revenue-boosting performance you require to be an industry leader. And all without the human resource costs that come with hiring and training a full-time team of in-house customer service reps. Consider what live inbound call answering could do for your business and your customers, or contact us to find out exactly how we can help!