Is Customer Service really that important?
By: Javill Byron
Which would you choose? A great product with horrible customer service or an average product with amazing customer service?
As I am writing this I am remembering quite a few places that I do not go to or avoid at all cost mainly because they have bad customer service. As a business owner and a customer service snob, I, Javill Byron, wanted to take a look at customer service, the statistics and see if customers would really use an inferior product because of a better customer service experience.
Customer service is a deep field and only the people inside of it, the people performing it, and the people aggregating statistics about it can really understand its effectiveness and worth. Social media has played a MAJOR role in the spreading of good news and an even bigger role in the spreading of bad news. Just a few years ago you would tell someone verbally, through a letter or by phone that you had a bad experience in normal conversation, but now, in the era of social media, reviews and viral videos can take it to the internet and access million of people instantly!
We know that the market place has changed and we know this because the customer has changed. The group now coined as millennials now have the purchasing power and they know it! They expect a level of customer service that was not demanded before. They know they have choices and access to them all. They don’t have to go to the same store on their block because Amazon will deliver things within minutes (with drones) and within days with Amazon Prime.
Customer service means that business employees will need different skills and will need to be proactive with them even when they think that the customer is behaving in a way that may not deserve it.
Some of these skills include:
1. Patience. Slow things down and understand that outstanding service beats fast service every single time.
2. Listening skills. Take the time to really listen to your customer and understand what they are really asking for and what they need. Be mindful of feedback they give and try to correct those things effectively.
3. Product knowledge. Nothing is worse than asking a question to the store employee, the expert, and either getting bad information or no information at all. Consumers depend on those same employees to gain an insight on “why should I buy.”
4. Time management. Spending time with you customer or as much as they need/want is an effective tool in customer service. This differentiation factor is a great tool for making the customer feel special.
5. Empathy. This is the ability to share the feelings of another. Things will not always go perfectly, but empathy is the ability to share with a customer that not only will you solve their issue to their satisfaction but that you also understand how they feel because you have been in that situation before.
Here are some quick statistical thoughts around customer service and why you should pay the utmost attention to it.
1. 50 percent of Americans have canceled plans to purchase all together based on a bad customer service experience.
2. More than 33 percent of Americans will switch to another company after a bad customer service experience.
3. In the United States, more than 50 Billion dollars is lost over poor customer service.
4. Roughly 3/4ths of Americans or around 75 percent will switch to a different brand if the purchasing/ customer service process is cumbersome or difficult.
5. After just one negative experience; more than 1/2 of Americans will NEVER do business with that company again.
6. 70 percent of people will spend more money at a company on their products if the customer service is better.
7. As a group, millennials are likely to spend 20 percent more on goods and services for better customer service!
These are just a few examples but the proof is all there. It’s up to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to simply take care of the ones you already have. Customer service could be the way you have been looking for to increase revenue and lower costs. This should be in every business plan and taught in every business school, yet it never is. World-class customer service should be all of our goals.
I will end by saying this:
Don’t enter the hamster wheel of competing on price; compete on customer service and command a higher price point and more loyal customers. Eventually you will win!
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
The content of this message was written by Javill Byron with some statistical data from helpscout.com. Javill Byron is a business professional and entrepreneur in public safety and consumer food space with a keen eye on customer service. Javill Byron has always been able to command above average revenues and pricing structure because of a focus on customer service.
To learn more about Javill Byron, please visit
javillbyron.com, javillbyron.net, or javillbyron.org
Copyright: Javill Byron