How Customer Service Impacts The Success Of Your Business Ross | May 2nd, 2013

What your customers and potential customers say publicly about your company’s products and services matters a great deal.

In a few minutes, we’ll give you three good tips on how you can improve your customers’ experience when they deal with your customer service team. But first, let’s take a quick look at why you should invest in customer service.

According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research and Zendesk, 90 percent of respondents said that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions and a nearly identical number – 86 percent – said that their buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews.

positivenegative

Facebook was the leading source for positive reviews (see graph below). Online review sites were the most common source of negative reviews, but also a good source for positive reviews.

Does your company show customer reviews on your site? Have customers reviewed your company on other sites?

To give you an example, we show crowdSPRING reviews from customers on our own site, but we’re also very proud of the reviews crowdSPRING has received from customers on the independent reviews site, ResellerRatings.

sourceofreviews

Here’s why you should care about delivering great customer service: customer service ranks as the top factor influencing how much a customer trusts a company. When you’re nice to your customers – they’re nice to you.

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Here are three things you can do to leave your customers with more positive impressions.

1. One customer service agent should “own” the conversation. 

People are often very frustrated when they are passed from one customer service agent to another. Very quickly, they conclude that nobody will help them. They also become frustrated when they must explain the problem to each new customer service agent. 72% of survey respondents, for example, blamed their bad customer service experience on having to explain their problem to multiple people.

It’s always best, when possible, to have one agent “own” the conversation with the customer. Involve other people if you must, but allow the lead person to always communicate with the customer.

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2. Set expectations at the start.

Customers get very frustrated when their problem takes too long to resolve. In most cases, the frustration stems from confusion and an expectation that the problem would be resolved quickly. If you know that a particular problem is difficult and cannot be quickly resolved, let the customer know it will take a few days to resolve the problem and that you will update them along the way. And do everything you can to provide a temporary solution for the customer.

We ask our team to update customers on a daily basis to let them know about progress on a specific issue (whenever we cannot fix the issue right away).

3. Resolve problems quickly.

69% of survey respondents attributed their good customer service experience to a quick resolution of their problem.

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Obviously, you must understand your customer service data to be able to assess how quickly you’re answering your customers. Here’s a good place to start: Small Business and Startups: Slice & Dice Your Customer Service Data.

Do you have other tips on what business owners can do to leave customers with more positive impressions when dealing with customer service teams?

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  • Harry

    There is no doubt that better customer service leads to higher customer satisfaction, which in turn leads to higher sales and business success. In my view everyone in your business is responsible for improving customer service. Any time customer interacts with your product, employee, marketing or anything else he is forming an opinion about your customer service.

    I also like your suggestion on setting expectations from the start. You have to learn to managing customer expectations along with the art of under promise and over deliver to successfully improve customer satisfaction.

  • http://twitter.com/rosskimbarovsky Ross Kimbarovsky

    Harry – great point. Everyone IS responsible for improving customer service. The best customer-service oriented companies know this well. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

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