8 Reasons Why High Quality Customer Service Matters To Startups

By January 6, 2017Blog

Startup businesses are often focused heavily on the product or service they are creating. While all good business owners will have garnered an understanding of who their target market are and what their priorities are, planning how to interact with them as people can be further down the list – if it’s on that list at all. High quality customer service is often taking for granted as something that the employees will naturally employ when dealing with customer queries or complaints. This could be a huge mistake as customer service is one of the biggest determinants of success in businesses – no matter what their size. Here’s why:

Customer retention is better for your bottom line

From their energy company to their telecommunications provider to their bank, consumers are more comfortable when it comes to switching loyalties than they ever have been. With the Harvard Business Review revealing that it is, on average, 25 times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to retain them, it makes financial sense to treat your customers as valuable gold dust. With over three-quarters of surveyed customers responding that they have switched to competitors as a direct result of bad customer service, that is a significant reason to treat the matter seriously

Customer service forces startups to look outwards

It takes a lot of guts and self-belief to start a business from scratch and part of that mindset involves ignoring the naysayers. Unfortunately, the habit of listening to your own positive spin can carry forwards into dealing with customers and can even develop into the harmful psychological distortion known as ‘groupthink.’ The remedy for this situation is a strong focus on listening to customers’ feedback from all channels (including via social media channels) and using that data to improve customer satisfaction rates. Even the best product on the market can lose its appeal if the people responsible for promoting it or looking after customers post-sale are lacking.

Customers can be your unpaid marketing team

If a top marketing team offered to promote your service or products for free then any business would jump at the chance. Yet those same businesses often fail to promote through their most readily available free channel – their satisfied customers. The social media explosion has made it possible for word of mouth marketing to reach further and travel faster than ever before. Of course, the same goes for negative feedback so the more you can do to keep your customers sweet and encourage them to spread the word the better for your reputation – and survival chances.

Great customer service is the hardest URL to replicate

Any business can take part in a short-term price war but the bigger companies usually have the advantage of being able to secure better deals with suppliers. Startups often find themselves unable to compete against this strategy because of a lack of capital. However, the principles of great customer service need not cost the earth and can give a startup a big advantage. When prices are slashed, employees are often required to work faster to compensate for the narrower profit margins. When competitors’ employees are frazzled and stressed they rarely provide optimal customer service which can drive their customers straight into your welcoming arms! Even better news for the customer friendly startup is that their newly acquired customers will often pay more for their positive experience while your competitors will find it hard if not impossible to claw back their reputation.

Customers can be your unpaid marketing team

If a top marketing team offered to promote your service or products for free then any business would jump at the chance. Yet those same businesses often fail to promote through their most readily available free channel – their satisfied customers. The social media explosion has made it possible for word of mouth marketing to reach further and travel faster than ever before. Of course, the same goes for negative feedback so the more you can do to keep your customers sweet and encourage them to spread the word the better for your reputation – and survival chances.

Customer service can help you structure your business

By building your brand around customer service principles, you will have a positive focus that will inform everything from who you recruit to work for you to how your employees answer the telephone and even how your premises look and feel. Your startup will also come across as more consistent and sincere. We have all come across those organizations which have come across the wisdom of good customer service too late in the day and attempt to teach their old dog staff new tricks. Customers can usually see through such a ruse and take their custom to a company that is more genuinely interested in their experience.

Your customer service provides your most lasting impression

While your products or services may provide a first impression of your company (for example, a catalog page on your website), your customers’ dealings with your employees will leave them with the strongest impression of what your company is all about. Fail to put the effort into making sure every customer is consistently respected and made to feel special will undermine any efforts made in product or service marketing.

Because the alternative is poor customer service

If you have read this far and you believe that your customer service provision is OK enough to carry you through that tough opening two to three years then you need to think again. Excellent customer service relies on consistency and this requires concerted effort and training. It is not enough to provide amazing customer service nine times out of ten and then let your standards slip during an exceptionally busy spell. The only alternative to great customer service delivery is poor customer service.

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