3 Reasons Why Outstanding Customer Service Builds a Successful Business
Everyone knows that “the customer is always right,” but what some business owners fail to realize is that this phrase holds a fundamental truth. In many ways, customer service determines the life span of start up businesses. Here’s why:
#1 Customer service enhances buying experience
Take a walk in your customers’ shoes (in my case, flip flops, because I own a flip flop franchise) and really try to understand where they are coming from. If you provide a service, what obstacles are your clients facing? If you sell a product, how does what you provide better the life of the person buying it from you? Having empathy enables you to exceed expectations and gives you the benefit of enhancing a client or customer’s buying experience. It’s simple, easy and fun.
Take our company FLIPS for instance. We’re a comfort and fashion-focused flip flop retailer that created a patented merchandising system. Our system makes customers’ shopping experience easier by enabling them to match the location number of the pair of flip flops they want from the tabletop display to the merchandise that is hanging below.
We’ve also been incorporating tablets in our store to showcase the details of our wide variety of flip flops. When our customers are seeking additional information about FLIPS’ merchandise, our tablets assist sales associates and help them further meet customer needs, ultimately increasing their shopping experience. It’s like a digital catalog at the customers’ fingertips.
As a business, a customer’s experience ultimately impacts your bottom line: Happy customers translate to more sales and referrals. Customer service reflects the increase or decrease of a client’s future buying decision. If a customer or client is highly pleased with the current services you are providing, the likelihood they’ll return to do business with you again is high.
We believe in a philosophy reading: “Customers buy from people they like and buy more from people they love.” We think this philosophy is a great approach to customer service and building customer relationships. We also find this quote to be very true.
#2 Customer service boosts your brand’s social reputation
No matter your industry, social media and your digital reputation is an important part of your company’s success. Social media is an excellent tool for promoting your business and an even greater one for keeping loyal clients.
For example, one of our customers recently took to Facebook to express how happy she was with her experience at FLIPS. I’m proud to hear our sales team tailored to her needs and she was able to choose the right flip flops for her next vacation. This customer also wrote she had purchased the “best flip flops she’s ever owned” – and her review sparked several other positive organic posts from customers.
But, no matter how strong you are in customer service, issues will arise on social media. Let’s face it: People are not afraid to voice their opinion on social media. When they do, it’s imperative you act swiftly to address those issues before any serious crises arise. If a customer is complaining on your company’s Facebook page, reach out to the person voicing the concern and work to repair any of the damage done. For example, if he felt like he had a bad experience with an employee at your store, apologize to the disgruntled customer in a private message on Facebook and reassure him that your brand strives to provide every customer with the highest level of service. Depending on the circumstances, an invitation back to the store and a discount or coupon could turn a disgruntled customer into a satisfied one again.
#3 Good customer service brightens everyone’s day – including your employees
Nobody wants to work for a company that provides poor customer service. It leaves a mark on an employee when she knows her company has a bad reputation with how it treats customers.
On the flip side, companies that tend to provide outstanding customer service are places where people tend to want to work. For example, Apple’s “Genius Bar” model provides employees a platform in which to provide high quality customer service. Many customers appreciate the guidance and attention Geniuses provide them, while the Geniuses are motivated to deliver best-in-class customer satisfaction.
When someone experiences top-notch customer service, the chances are much higher that she will tell someone else about your brand and/or convert into a returning customer. This positive energy can transfer to your internal team, creating a more productive environment in your company’s respective workspace..
Your team wants to feel valued by clients and customers, and when they do, it motivates them to maximize their productivity.
Having a passion for your business and your customers can affect how you express that passion you have towards your customers and associates. The energy it creates is contagious. You become more than a store; you become human and have passion for what you’re doing that everyone around you appreciates.
No matter the size of your startup business, providing exceptional customer service should be one of the focuses of your business model. If you’re goal is to build a legacy, it is imperative to provide great customer service to everyone. The extra effort goes a long way.