The importance of superior customer service in customer retention is not a new concept—as long as there have been customers, there has been a need to ensure their satisfaction.
Yes, treating customers well and making them feel valuable is an obvious component to overall sales effectiveness, but why is it really so important?
Sometimes the most fundamental concepts are worthy of taking a closer look, and in doing so, you will often discover what makes them so important in the first place.
Good Customer Service Builds Loyal Customers
Again, not a groundbreaking claim, but an important one nonetheless.
The ultimate goal of good customer service is to foster positive relationships with your existing clients so that they in turn develop a deep-seated loyalty—to you, your product, and your company. When you’re focused on growth it is easy to place your attention on acquiring new business, but the value of a loyal customer cannot be overstated.
5 Ways Loyal Customers Drive Revenue
• They will buy more
Once your reps have established a relationship with a customer, the element of trust comes into play. As a valued advisor, their recommendations carry more weight and result in selling more, more easily. Plus, people are more apt to buy from someone they genuinely like.
• They will buy more often
Every customer will have different needs, but the most loyal customers are typically frequent buyers. Your product quality is important, but knowing they will be able to deal with salespeople with whom they feel comfortable means they’ll think of you first when the time comes.
• They will be easier to work with
Loyal customers that have developed friendly relationships with your organization are less likely to put up price objections, ask for discounts, or offer complaints. In short, they’re easier to serve and work with.
• They result in business without having to search for new prospects
Nurturing existing clients is far easier, and less costly than finding and acquiring new ones. Research from Gartner Group reveals that 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers.
• They Will Sell for You
Arguably the most valuable perk, happy customers become enthusiastic brand ambassadors. Customer referrals are not only the easiest and most cost effective way to gain new clients, they often carry the most weight. Referrals in the form of case studies and recommendations offer credibility that no other type of marketing can beat.
Align Departments to Better Deliver Customer Service
Acquiring a healthy set of loyal customers seems obvious, but when Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service are not aligned, building that loyalty can be a challenging process.
In order for a customer to be satisfied, they must receive the solutions they were promised, in the same way they were promised to receive them. Having common goals and consistent messages throughout these closely tied, but often segregated departments is vital to keeping customers satisfied.
Part of that alignment process involves Marketing targeting only those prospects that will in fact be a good fit for Sales. Good customer service will be delivered with less effort to those clients that are qualified for your offerings. Focus first on getting the right customers, and then treating those customers well.
To turn new customers into loyal ones, keep these points about customer service in mind:
• Make it convenient: Be as accessible as you can. Be aware of the customer’s needs, and be both proactive and reactive to them.
• Personalize it: Gear all of your interactions geared toward the customer and their unique needs. Know everything there is to know about them, their challenges, and their business.
• Make it consistent across the company: Ensure that anyone the customer may come in contact with is knowledgeable on products and capable of solving issues competently.
When we think about customer service, we often think of it as a responsibility that falls on the shoulders of the Client Services or Client Experience departments. While it’s true that these departments do need to be especially skilled in dealing with resolutions and keeping customers happy, it is not their charge alone. The best sales leaders realize that anyone that touches a client needs to be proficient in providing good service, and that building and maintaining good client relationships should be included in the culture of your organization.