The above quote, attributed to American business magnate Warren Buffet, may seem a bit obvious. Customer service is something that 72% of businesses say is their top priority, and even among those who name other top priorities, customer service is generally still a major consideration. On top of that, there aren’t many businesses who would be likely to come out and say that customers don’t matter. But how seriously do businesses take customer satisfaction, really?
How important is customer service to a business? Is it a prerequisite to success, or is all the emphasis on it just a way for businesses to charm their audience?
This question isn’t nearly as silly as it might seem. After all, there are certain corporations that are widely recognized as leaders in their market that are also traditionally known for offering poor customer service. If these businesses can achieve so much growth without providing a superior client experience, then customer satisfaction may not be as vital as everyone thinks.
Thankfully, the reality is that these businesses are the exception rather than the rule. In most instances, business performance is directly proportional to customer satisfaction.
There isn’t one single definition of good customer service; it means something different for every customer — some clients might judge a business on how friendly their service agents are, while other clients are more interested in how quickly support can resolve issues. Probably the most accurate definition would be that good customer service is something that produces satisfied customers.
To produce satisfied customers, businesses need to be capable of providing the best customer service across the entire range of client needs. This means hiring and retaining knowledgeable, customer-focused employees. It means creating a message and delivering a service that is personalized to every client individually. It means investing in the right tools.
When you can give your customers solutions that are easy, affordable and delivered in a friendly and respectful way, then they will go home satisfied. As if that weren’t reward enough, satisfied customers will pay back the good service they receive by helping you grow your business.
The above Warren Buffett quote serves to illustrate one key point of customer service, and by extension, business success: It’s built on relationships. Your company may have a reputation that it has worked tirelessly to build up, but all it takes is a client having a bad experience to topple it. This is becoming even more true as customers become more and more connected. Thanks to the wonders of portable smart devices, social media, and other digital communication technology, your clients are more proactive and vocal than they have ever been.
When it comes to customer service, your clients know what they want, and they know that if they don’t get it from you, there’s an entire world of competitor options for them to choose from. 58% of customers who stop doing business with a company will never come back, and while losing a potential client is certainly nothing to smile about, the damage from a single bad experience can end up costing you significantly more. Unhappy customers are more than twice as likely as happy customers to share their experience, and with easy access to digital communication, they can reach and influence a limitless number of listeners.
On the other hand, retaining current, happy customers may do more for your business than any marketing initiative. As little as a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by as much as 125%. At the same time, it’s supposed that it costs five times more to gain a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. These and other stats suggest that loyal, consistent customers can generate a significant dollar amount for your business.
Beyond reputation and revenue, good customer service also reflects well on everything else your business does. Most clients don’t think of companies as being built on a number of different layers or departments. Instead, they think of a business as being a single, homogenized entity. As such, an exceptional customer service or support department will suggest to them that all your products and services are likewise exceptional. To many clients, ‘good customer service’ is synonymous with ‘good company.’
Your interactions with your client base, specifically those related to customer service, form the basis of your customer relationships. As with any relationship, if they aren’t built on trust and mutual respect, they won’t be able to reach their full potential. Customer relationship management (CRM) is a tool that allows businesses to better connect with their customers. It does this by giving service agents all of the relevant data, purchase histories, and preferences associated with individual customers, so that they can give them an experience personalized to their needs.
Salesforce, the pioneer of the CRM industry, has extended CRM well beyond the limits of data retrieval and management. With Salesforce Service Cloud, your business can build the customer relationships that define success. An easy-to-use interface, real-time data processing, a completely cloud-based architecture, and 100% compatibility and support across all available channels make Service Cloud an indispensable tool for communicating with and assisting clients. You’ll be able to deliver support from wherever you are, and quickly find resolutions to customer concerns.
Salesforce Service Cloud also implements predictive A.I., in the form of Salesforce Einstein. Einstein is able to collect and analyze massive amounts of customer data, to provide highly-accurate predictions — effectively solving problems before they arise, and giving you the power to meet customer needs faster than ever before. Coupled with advanced task automation, Einstein is part of a powerful customer service tool with the potential to turn your customer interactions into dependable long-term relationships.
How important is an effective customer service strategy to a business? It all depends on how important success is to a business. Customers don’t just influence your bottom line, they are your bottom line, and unless you can give them consistently satisfactory customer service, that bottom line may just decide to go elsewhere. However, if you can prove that you really do value your customers, then your customers will bring you value.
Customer service matters, and it always will. Don’t let five minutes of bad customer service ruin your business. Build and maintain exceptional client relationships with Salesforce Service Cloud.
The best way to see how Salesforce is revolutionizing customer service is with a guided tour of Service Cloud. With the guided tour, we can show you how Service Cloud shines in several common use cases and scenarios.
Questions? Our reps have answers. 1-800-667-6389