6 Observations about the Importance of Customer Service

Customer service is important. Without it, your customers would be effectively lost in an information abyss, trying to make sense of a product that may be vaguely unfamiliar or completely foreign to them. Still, though, there are companies that don’t yet recognize the importance of customer service in their business strategy. 

Did you know that 96% of companies fail within their first ten years? That means that out of one hundred businesses, only four will survive past the ten-year mark. It’s a scary metric for sure.

Customer service is one of the key differentiators in a new world of product-led growth. Let’s take a look into some observations on just how important it is.

1. Customer service makes people talk about your brand

Customers who are happy with the service that they’ve received share that experience with their friends. In fact, on social media, 58% of consumers write about their positive experiences with a company and reach out to ask family, colleagues and friends for their opinions about brands.

It’s not just that, though, people trust their friends and family more than they trust your company. About two to ten times more, according to Boston Consulting Group

That’s the importance of customer service: not only will your customers be more inclined to talk about your brand, but the people listening will also be more inclined to trust it over any other form of marketing that you might throw money into. 

2. Customer service promotes customer loyalty

Customer loyalty is the new top currency. The customers that you already have make up 65% of all of your business. That means that as hard as you might work to bring in new customers if you’re losing the ones that you already have, your business is going to suffer. Great customer service helps make your customers feel at ease. When it’s done excellently, it promotes loyalty.

However, when customers feel unhappy about an experience, there’s a 91% chance they won’t do business with a company again. So, if you’re not focusing on the importance of customer support within your business, you run the risk of losing even more customers. It’s worth it to pay attention.

3. Customer service can help you charge more 

After a positive customer service experience, 50% of customers reported they are willing to increase their purchasing with the brand. Beyond that, 86% of customers stated that they would be willing to pay up to 25% more on top of their base cost in order to get a better customer service experience.

Customer service actually can serve as a value add to many customers: an additional product that they are willing to pay extra for and that compels them to spend more with your brand. But, on the flip side, more than half of Americans have decided against a planned upcoming purchase because of a bad customer service experience. So, just as good customer service can shift the needle upwards, the impact of bad service can be extremely detrimental.

4. Customer service provides better insights on your product

Like most companies, you’re likely pulling information like Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer sentiment or other surveys that help gauge how your customers feel about your product. Customer service is a largely untapped resource to help you get right to the point of how your customers are feeling. 

Think about it: your customer service team knows better than almost anyone what it is that your customers are keen on, talking about, and feeling on a day-to-day basis. Better yet, if you coach them properly, they can be even more intentional about gleaning meaningful insights from their interactions. 

Instead of rushing right to answering the question for a customer, your team can use these new skills to make your product even better. Take, for example, a customer asking about a specific feature or integration that your product offers. Your support team could just respond, letting them know that it’s a feature request and that you don’t currently have it. The interaction would be finished and they could move on to the next ticket.

Or, your customer service representative could provide information about the feature request process, and then dive a bit deeper with the customer. It’s amazing what you can uncover by asking open-ended questions such as “if we did that, how would it ideally work?” or “what are you looking to accomplish with this?”

These motivations and insights can provide deep, lasting impact on your product scope and planning, and have the potential to be much more meaningful than a quick survey response for an NPS email.

5. Customer service boosts marketing opportunities

We’ve already covered that people trust the word of other humans over the word of a brand any day—doubly so if they know that person personally. So, it should come as no surprise that case studies are valuable in the realm of product marketing.

You want your customers to talk about you positively. The importance of customer service, in this regard, can not be downplayed. Not only will providing an excellent experience help push your customers towards sharing about you, but your customer service team will be primed to ask them if they’d be willing to share more by providing their story to your marketing team.

Reviewing things like customer feedback survey responses or interactions between your team and customers can help find opportunities for people who feel passionate enough about your product to make a compelling story for your blog or other social media.

6. Customer service retains customers

Everyone wants to be treated fairly. In fact, 66% of consumers switch brands due to poor or inattentive customer service. Further, lowering your customer churn rate by just 5% can increase your profitability by 25 to 125%

That’s the importance of customer service: by just ensuring that your customers have the best experience possible, you boost your company’s profitability substantially.

This means: 

  • Responding to customer feature requests on social media or on blog posts
  • Helping customers who email in with inquiries to your inbox
  • Responding to customer insights directly from NPS or other survey responses
  • Providing clear and concise self-service support in the form of documentation or AI
  • Giving customers support on the channels where they are expecting it, such as chat, social media, email or telephone
  • Providing onboarding to ensure that your customers have the best possible starter experience with your product

Customer service doesn’t need to be prescriptive: there are many things outside of this that may be helpful (or unhelpful) to your customers. Try different strategies and new things, and see what fits your customers and users best.

Conclusion

The importance of customer service is immense. While, at first glance, we may all assume that it’s just a way to ensure that people are using your product as they should, it’s actually a meaningful way to have a huge impact on cross-company metrics and initiatives. Boost retention, drop churn, provide marketing insights, promote loyalty, and even keep your internal team happier by providing excellent service to your customers.

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