We’ve all had a bad experience with Customer Service at one point in time. Whether it was a request denied, a problem that could not be resolved, or a less-than-friendly interaction, the result was one unhappy customer. While one unhappy customer may not seem significant, that person is more likely to share the bad experience with friends, and with social media platforms it can quickly spread to millions of people. How do you make customer service a key differentiator for your business?
In every industry, there is competition – the key differences between competitors are usually technology, options, or pricing. But from a customer perspective, service can be the deal-maker (or breaker). A recent study showed that customers who had a positive experience spent 2.5x more than an unhappy customer, and were 2x more likely to remain a customer over time. Happy customers also cost less to service – they don’t require multiple phone calls or time with the customer service team.
Improving customer service or making it a priority sounds great in theory, but how do you put that into practice? Empowering your service team to make decisions based on what is best for the customer can be a great starting point. Unhappy customers do not want to speak to 5 different customer service representatives to solve the problem they have, nor do they want to explain the problem multiple times. Empowering your service team to solve the problem in one phone call can be a major differentiator from your competition.
Utilising a team approach to solving customer issues can also make a big difference. If you have different skill sets or expertise amongst your service team, let them collaborate and learn from each other, or provide opportunities for them to work on a customer issue together. If your customer service team operates in silos, it can create problems down the line for customers who have multiple questions or issues. For instance, if one team manages billing, and another team manages registration, a customer may have to speak with many team members to solve one problem. If the service team works together for the customer, the issue can be resolved more quickly and with less hassle for the customer.
Providing superior customer service is a key differentiator in any industry - the lowest pricing or best technology will only get you so far. Empowering your service team to solve customer issues in less time, focusing your service efforts and training on what is best for the customer, and making sure your service team evolves and collaborates will improve customer satisfaction and retention.
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