The team at SureStore Bolton.
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person.
You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon (Quartz)
Anger and frustration over poor customer service seems to be in the news every day at the moment. Following its acquisition by Sports Direct, House of Fraser customers have been left out of pocket as they are refused refunds and kept in the dark regarding replacement gift cards. But, House of Fraser is not the only high-street store to have the quality of its customer service questioned. According to The Times, John Lewis is also suffering from a customer service crisis, with almost 80% of its reviews last month receiving just one star (reportedly the poorest reviews any chain has received since the review site, Trustpilot, began).
Why Should You Provide Exceptional Customer Service?
At the core of every successful business is exceptional customer service. Fail to provide it, and your sales will plummet, your reputation will be tarnished, and your customers will flock to your competitors. As you can see from our Bolton and Northwich locations, customer service is integral to the services we offer at Surestore.
“Organisations need to evolve and interact with customers through engaging and sharing positively memorable experiences. Sustainable customer excellence can only be delivered by organisations that are truly customer centric and have enthused their employees behind a shared vision. If you aren’t striving to deliver great customer experiences – then be sure that your competitors will be!”
– Nick Meinertzhagen, CX Consultant –www.experientialconsulting.co.uk
3 Key Facts You Need To Know About The Importance Of Customer Service
- When it comes to the overall shopping experience, 76% of Brits rank positive customer service as the most important aspect (365 Retail). Providing great customer service is so important that, by 2020, it will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator (Vision Critical).
- Acquiring new customers is not only tough, it’s expensive. Rather than throw money at getting new customers, focus on the ones you’ve already got. Great customer service leads to customer loyalty and loyal customers make you money. According to research, increasing customer retention by just 5% produces over 25% increase in profit. Why? When compared to new customers, existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more (MyCustomer).
- Happy customers bring you new customers through becoming brand advocates – From leaving a glowing online review to telling friends about a great customer service experience, in 2017, 77% of consumers admitted to sharing positive experiences about a business.
“We take most of the money that we could have spent on paid advertising and instead put it back into the customer experience. Then we let the customers be our marketing.”
– Tony Hsieh, Founder and CEO of Zappos (The Balance SMB)
How To Provide Excellent Customer Service
- Ask customers for reviews
More and more consumers are turning to online reviews to help them determine whether a business is worth contacting, a product worth buying, or a service worth using. Online reviews are such an important part of the decision-making process, that 88% of consumers trust them as much as personal recommendations. To ensure that you are providing the best customer service possible, it is vital that you encourage customers to review your business and that you continually assess this feedback to discover your strengths and pitfalls.
“While positive reviews undoubtedly build trust and credibility in our brand and assist us in converting new business, negative comments are equally as important, as they ensure that we are constantly improving the services we offer.”
- Train your staff
Internationally recognised customer service expert and author, Adam Toporek, believes that training your team in customer service is essential for 5 main reasons (CTS):
- Humans are not built for reactive service (we are genetically wired to either ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ when faced with a tricky situation- dealing with a demanding situation in any other way requires training)
- The human experience makes/breaks the customer experience
- Training prevents backsliding
- Training sends a message
- Training creates happier, more confident teams
“Empowering staff and encouraging them to feel personally invested in the service they provide is key to a positive and complete customer experience. If your team represents the business as if it is their own – regardless of their position – then every customer interaction will impress. A team who takes personal pride in every element of a customer’s journey will, for that customer, become the friendly face of a great experience. This will bring that customer back, looking for that experience again.”
– Jon Gardner, Area Manager at SureStore
- Keep your employees happy
A happy employee is a hardworking employee. According to international consultancy, the iOpener Institute, employees who are happy in their organisation commit twice as much time to their tasks and have 65% more energy than their unhappy counterparts. If your employees experience happiness at work, they will share this energy and excitement with your customers, creating a memorable and positive experience for them.
“I believe in the power of recognition and empowerment leading to great employee engagement. And employee engagement is critical to guest engagement. Employee empowerment and recognition is the core of our culture and how we achieve outstanding service.”
Herve Humler, COO and President of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company Forbes