According to Forbes, poor customer service cost businesses approximately $75 Billion in 2018. That is a jaw-dropping amount of money — so what is going on?
Effective customer service can have a dramatic effect on the performance of your business — with fast and efficient customer service, you’re much more likely to generate sales and repeat business. This is especially true if your business relies heavily on word of mouth, where the customer experience can dramatically affect the stories they tell to friends and family.
Keep in mind that mistakes will happen. Unfortunately, you can’t please everyone. However, putting in the effort and showing customers you care goes a long way to generate new business and keep your customers coming back for more.
Although issues are impossible to avoid, there are a few things most customers won’t tolerate including:
- Long wait times
- Unprofessional staff
- Ignoring / missing customer inquiries
- Disrespect or being talked down to
- Customer service reps with limited knowledge
Today, we’re going to examine how a bad customer service experience can negatively affect your business’ future — in often unexpected ways.
Current Customers Leave
Even if you’ve done the work to secure a sale, the job often doesn’t end there. Managing current customers’ expectations and solving their issues quickly is key to developing ongoing business with those customers.
Customers tend to stick to products or services they are familiar with — but that can easily change with repeated poor customer service experiences. Even the most loyal customers will jump ship if they feel they are not valued.
Attracting new customers can be much more difficult and expensive than retaining old ones, so keeping your current customers happy should be high on your list of priorities.
Source: Harvard Business Review
Many people are not shy to share their bad experiences with others, which can have a huge impact on future sales.
Developing a Bad Reputation
Word of mouth travels fast.
One disgruntled customer can have a massive impact on future sales, especially in the age of social media. With the click of a button, one poor customer service experience could reach thousands of people — almost certainly costing you future revenues.
Review services, like Yelp and Tripadvisor, are also becoming increasingly popular. It only takes a few one star reviews for potential new customers to avoid your business altogether.
Effective customer service practices can increase the chances that your customers speak positively to their friends, family, and online. Going above and beyond with your customer service may even influence the customer to convince their social circle to buy from you, and you only.
As a direct result of negative reviews, bad experiences, and poor customer service, you’ll likely see fewer new customers committing to a sale.
Have you ever sat at a restaurant waiting to be served while staff chit chats at the bar? Or have you ever been on hold for so long you hang up?
Losing new business can be as simple as making a customer wait too long to be served — they may not even get the chance to interact with a member of your team before they decide to take their business elsewhere.
Prompt service is just one of many factors that go into the customer’s initial buying decision. If your team cannot provide the answers they are looking for, despite your product or service solving their problem, they may choose to go somewhere else with a more knowledgeable team.
Your business should make it easy for customers to reach for their wallets — repeated customer service problems should raise the alarm that something needs to change.
Losing Valuable Employees
One of the unexpected side-effects of poor customer service is that it can lead to losing valuable team members.
When your customer service suffers, it often requires someone to pick up the extra work required to resolve customer complaints. As a result, you may find you’re losing staff who burn out faster than they otherwise would.
We’ve all worked a job with inefficient or lazy coworkers — how frustrating is it when you have to do work while they slack off?
Unfortunately, this can cause your good employees to become resentful which can further contribute to a poor customer service experience. Hiring good employees is time-consuming and expensive — creating a positive work environment goes a long way to retaining customers and generating new business.
The moral of the story is that poor customer service affects your bottom line in many different ways. In the long-run, you’ll have more difficulty attracting and retaining customers if customer service isn’t placed on high-priority.
Lost sales, higher costs due to employee turnover, and a bad reputation are a recipe for disaster. Once you’ve lost the customer’s trust, it becomes near impossible to get it back.
Taking the steps to improve your customer experience will have a dramatic effect on the health of your business. Don’t let customer service issues within your business simmer for too long — they’re likely costing more than you know.
Omnie Managed Customer Service
Top quality customer service is one of the best ways to stand out to your customers and encourage them to recommend your business to friends and family.
We understand that solving customer complaints and requests can be stressful and time-consuming. Hiring staff to be professional, knowledgeable, and friendly can take up valuable time better spent on improving your products and services.
Omnie specializes in capitalizing on every customer interaction to increase customer conversions, resolve issues, and drive greater brand loyalty. With our support, we can ensure your customers leave satisfied with every visit — leading to greater conversions and higher profits.
Do you see areas of your business where your customer experience can be improved? Reach out to our team today to learn more about how we can support your business and help you grow.