Customer service. Those words might just refer to the name or your team or department. But to customers, the worst “customer service” might remind them of hours wasted waiting on hold and not getting their problems resolved.
And that’s because many customer service teams aren’t actually working to serve their customers. Instead, customer service organisations treat cases like numbers, and not as people. Customers are forced to use long forms and complicated phone trees to get the help they need, instead of using the communication channels they prefer.
Worst of all, customers aren’t empowered to succeed — instead, they receive one-off answers to questions and not the tools to develop a growth strategy.
The dire state of modern customer service is a real shame — because as it turns out, helping your customers succeed helps your company, too. In fact, in a recent HubSpot Research survey, they found that companies that prioritised customer success were also growing in revenue.
And successful companies are happy customers — and happy customers grow your business faster than sales and marketing by telling friends and family and, eventually, referring new, loyalty customers. And customer happiness starts with service.
Why time and money spent on customer success is worth it
For every bad customer service experience, you might be able to recall a representative or a business that went out of the way to solve problems for you.
And you might think that spending additional time on customer issues won’t have a meaningful payoff for you — but as we’ve learned, happy customers bring better results to your business, so it’s worth creating a team culture of dedication and extreme helpfulness.
One such example, The Ritz-Carlton Company, gives each of its employees the autonomy to spend up to $2,000 solving customer problems — without needing to seek approval.
While that whopping amount might be over budget for your organisation, the greater reason why this company has created such a policy bears remembering for every customer service team.
The Ritz-Carlton prizes employee engagement — because it believes engagement is the key to cultivating employees who are dedicated to improving customer engagement, too.
Some of the most well-known business success stories can be credited to great service — at least partly.
After all, attracting new customers with a fantastic product or service is only half of the journey — a big part of revenue growth is keeping existing customers so they come back and purchase from you again and again.
As it turns out, leaders of big brands like Intuit, Pepsico, and Zappos have a lot of wisdom to offer when it comes to customer service — and that’s because they doubled down on it and made it their mission.
Customers are in control. Their expectations for service are high, and it’s minimally painless and virtually cost-free to switch to your competitors if you aren’t meeting their expectations.
Successful customers can grow your business faster than sales and marketing, but in order to get there, customer service professionals must take on a new, more human approach to service.