The importance of delivering quality customer service cannot be overstated. If you stop to think about it, however, customer service is really a reactive process. You often wait until your customer needs something, such as an answer to a question or help making a purchase, then you react to that need. If you do a great job, then you are considered to have good customer service.
However, what if a potential customer doesn’t require that kind of “reactive” customer service? It leaves you without the chance to offer them your exceptional customer service. You did nothing wrong, you’re there to assist, but they just don’t ask. Your chance to “wow” your potential customer does not come, and you could lose a sale or a chance to help.
As important as providing excellent customer service is, the opportunity to provide it is largely dependant on being asked for assistance.
So how do you avoid this predicament?
Look for ways to provide a customer experience that incorporates a high level of customer service. A customer experience takes into account your potential customer’s journey from the time they become aware of your business to their time learning more about what you do and how you can help them decide to make a purchase (and beyond).
At all levels you are taking steps to ensure their needs are being addressed, even when you are not being asked to do so. Let’s look at the value of providing a rockstar customer experience.
YOUR CUSTOMERS TALK
Positive word-of-mouth is a great way to build buzz for your business and get you on the path to growth. However, word-of-mouth is a sword that cuts two ways. A negative review could cost you more than you realize. Good or bad, your customers talk and let people know of the experience they had with your business. Creating an awesome customer experience is a great way to push them towards saying good things about what you do.
IT’S CHEAPER TO RETAIN A CUSTOMER VERSUS GAINING NEW ONES
This is for the customers who are already spending money with you. It is much easier, and cheaper, to keep your current customers, versus having to spend the time, money, and effort to attract new ones. In fact, getting new customers is five times more expensive than keeping your current ones. It’s important to grow your customer base, but do not forget to keep your current customers happy.
CUSTOMERS PAY MORE FOR A BETTER EXPERIENCE
This is the part where people usually tell me that creating a customer experience is nice, but they are concerned about the cost. I understand the concern, but your customers are looking for an experience to get excited about and they are willing to pay for it. If you deliver a unique experience that wows them, they will see you as a premium service (more on this in a moment) and are more likely to pay a premium. And it can be something as simple as making the process of checking out of your online cart quicker and easier.
And tying this back to the previous point, happy customers speak to their friends (free word-of-mouth) and are more likely to come back (boosting your customer retention).
INCREASES THE PERCEIVED VALUE OF YOUR COMPANY
As I alluded to in the previous point, if you provide a quality customer experience, then the perceived value of your business will go up. Taking the time to map out the journey you want your customers to take allows you to factor in the little things that will make it easier for your potential customers on their path to becoming paying customers. Those little things you include are most likely things missed by your competitors. And in the minds of your potential customers, those little things can make all the difference giving your business and the products/services you provide a premium feel.
Anticipating the needs of your target audience is essential when it comes to marketing and customer service. If you can turn the process you have for delivering a high level of customer service into a proactive customer experience that addresses the needs of your audience before they even ask, then you will be able to “wow” your current and potential customers, no matter which stage of the marketing funnel they are in.