How Improving Customer Service Sets Your Business Apart
Some of the customer service data floating around is scary. Customer-centric businesses are leveraging call center software applications and experienced customer care teams to stand out in an industry. Take companies like Apple, Southwest, and Four Seasons, all have gained substantial market share within their industries by revamping their customer service strategy. According to a Money Talks News article, Four Seasons, one of the top five customer service companies have learned, “The more flexible the workforce, the better. And everyone — especially those who don’t normally interact with customers – should understand the key role those customers play.”
Where Customer Service is Failing…
With that being said, the reason so many businesses are able to prosper is because so many others fail to deliver superior customer value. The bar for superior customer service is continually being raised. Sometimes small things that can really deliver value like answering phones and replying to customer emails. According to State of Service Benchmarking, “among North American SMBs with revenues of $10 million and $250 million, 51 percent failed to respond to emails at all and 70 percent did not respond within 24 hours, compared to 41 percent of enterprises not responding at all and 61 percent not responding within 24 hours have a timely method for customer care.” Over half of all businesses are completely neglecting contact from customers via email! This is primarily the reason that clients preferred to contact businesses by phone, and if your business is not answering calls with knowledgeable staff you are losing customer loyalty.
The graph pictured above, is taken from a 2008 State of Service Customer Service White Paper found on eGain. It demonstrates how poorly multichannel (phone and email) customer service efforts are performing. According to a survey of communications subscribers by Forrester Research, over 60% of respondents were unsatisfied with their online customer service experience. Customer service over the phone performed slightly better, however half of respondents were still unsatisfied with their experiences.
According to the Harris Interactive Poll, “55% of customers are willing to recommend a company due to outstanding service, more so than product or price. 66% of respondents cited customer service as the biggest driver for encouraging greater spending.”
The customer service industry is still an untapped market. Although it is unlikely that every customer will be happy with every purchase they make, and every company they come in contact with. Your business can optimize its customer relations efforts by outsourcing its answering services to seasoned professionals with CRM applications. To see the different features that answering services offer, view the answering services vendors subcategories.