When to invest in Customer Service

From the beginning! If you are launching a new company or you are already established, Customer Service should be top of your list of investments. Think about bad experiences you have had, even with companies that you love. You stop loving them and you tell everyone you know what happened. A few fun facts.

– 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience. Source: American Express Survey, 2011

– It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. Source: “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner

– It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one. Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs

– In 2011, 7 in 10 Americans said they were willing to spend more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service. Source: American Express Survey, 2011

The truth of the matter is that competition is fierce in any industry and keeping existing customers by providing excellent service is better for the bottom line. So what does excellent service look like to your customers? It’s not rocket science. First have a plan in place to address needs proactively. Take care of their base needs first – for instance, let them know that you received their order, when to expect it and that it is on the way. Secondly, have a plan for when something goes wrong, and it will no matter how well you plan. Quickly respond to their complaints and most importantly empower (and reward!) your customer service team to resolve the issue immediately and with a smile.

– Resolve a complaint in the customer’s favor and they will do business with you again 70% of the time. Source: Lee Resources

Without customers, you have no business. Treat them with the respect that they deserve and it will pay in dividends.