Make Great Customer Service Your Competitive Advantage

Jul 6, 2023 10:30:00 AM

Great customer service is a cost-effective way to win loyalty, lift revenue and stand out from your competitors. In fact, it can even help your business to be more resilient. And that’s something you can welcome with a smile in today’s fast-changing environment. 

Excellent customer service helps you win a home crowd and avoid penalties

Business owners know it takes much more than quality products and smart pricing to build a successful company. Although many priorities are vying for their attention, here are three reasons why customer service deserves your focus. 

Firstly, customers who enjoy your service will likely buy more and recommend you to others. If they like buying from you, they tend to return and even pay more. The research on this is compelling. With great customer service, you create a more lucrative relationship with each person. It increases their ‘customer lifetime value’. 

Standout customer service can help you attract more customers too. People recommend businesses when they have a good experience, and word of mouth is as important as ever as advertising options become increasingly expensive and fragmented. 

Along with winning more business, great customer service can mean less goes wrong. We all know customers are less likely to buy when they get bad service. But what about when the service is good, but something else goes wrong? It turns out they’re more forgiving if they like how they’re treated. Surveys show good customer service is like a buffer when businesses face the unexpected. 

Making service your competitive advantage starts with teamwork

Your people can be your biggest advantage when you want winning customer service. However, when the pressure’s on, keeping communication tight within the team can often be the first thing that falls through the cracks.  

Make sure that all employees understand the game plan and high stakes of providing excellent service. Training on communication skills, problem-solving, and product knowledge can lift capability and show people you’re ready to invest in them and their work. Happy, satisfied employees are more likely to project happy, satisfying service to your customers. 

Be personal and responsive

Customers want to be treated like an individual, not a number. And technology means people’s expectations around personalising are rising. Analysis shows you’ll convert more sales online when you add personalisation. And imagine how much more important it is to people when they’re standing in a real-life queue and watching you interact. 

Small gestures can help customers feel valued and appreciated. This can include thank-you notes, surprise discounts, or simply remembering their name. Something as simple as a smile and nod to a waiting customer can make all the difference in how things play out. 

Retail stores and hospitality businesses can have past purchases at the ready to give servers an insight into preferences. A good customer management system can allow even more personalised communications, promotions and recommendations. The ideal is for every customer to feel you’re there just for them.

Fast and accessible customer service is more crucial than ever. Following the massive shift to digital during the pandemic, people have come to expect efficient online communication options. They’ve come to rely on them and expect them as standard. 

An incredible 90% of customers rate a quick response as important or very important when they have a customer service question, and 60% define ‘immediate’ as 10 minutes or less. 

Be consistent

First-class customer service is not a one-off event. So, be prepared to keep improving and upping your game. One of the best ways to do this is by seeking out feedback that you use to refine your approach. 

When you seek feedback from customers, make opportunities for them to identify areas for improvement as well as noting good work and workers. Your team may also have valuable ideas or examples around great customer service, so invite their input. You may even wish to incentivise them somehow. 

Nothing is quite as powerful as an objective perspective in understanding how your business measures up. And that’s part of the power of a Business Mentor. They’re there to share their experience and insight to help you thrive. If you’re looking to build your competitive advantage, deliver more consistent customer experiences, or simply stress less, then register to meet a Mentor who can help.