Working with entrepreneurs has given me opportunities to speak to and lead others who are either trying to start their own business or trying to improve what they already have. I have a unique position to speak from. Yes, I have been successful, but at the same time, I have made plenty of mistakes. Over the years, I have learned that customer service is absolutely the most important part of any business. Recently, when I spoke with a Forbes contributor, I found myself coming back to the same words over and over again:
“To over-deliver in service to a customer is by far the most valuable thing to a business. Because there are only two ways to improve the operations of a business: increase sales or decrease costs.”
And I still stand by what I said. You will find it very hard to decrease costs, but you can offer better customer service and that allows you to increase sales. If that’s not enough to convince you, though, here are five reasons why I firmly believe customer service is more important than anything else in your business.
1. THE BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE BUILDS TRUST
These days, people will only stay loyal to a company if they have very good reason to. Otherwise, there is plenty of competition available they could choose to move to. As a result, you have to work even harder to keep customers and build their trust in your brand. By providing the best in customer service, you will increase trust, and that could mean the difference between customer loyalty and customers who jump ship.
2. CUSTOMER SERVICE MATTERS MORE THAN PRICE
When studies and surveys have been completed, they continue to find that a large group of consumers say that customer service is much more important than price. To get the right experience, they are willing to pay more.
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3. IT WILL BUILD BRAND AWARENESS
If you don’t already know this, then it is time to learn. Word of mouth is the most powerful ally you have on your side. What your customers say to others could make or break your business. When you provide the best in customer service, guess what happens? People will talk about you. They will remember your brand. If they hear someone else talking that they need a specific kind of company, they are much more likely to say, “Oh, go to this place. They are great!”
4. GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE REDUCES PROBLEMS
Problems are always going to arise for any business no matter how hard you try to avoid them. While you can’t run a perfect business with all the perfect customers, you can ensure friction doesn’t become an issue. If customers know that they can voice complaints and those issues will be handled properly, they will feel more comfortable doing business with you.
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5. IT APPEALS TO THE CUSTOMER
Once upon a time, business was all about closing the sale. It didn’t matter how you got to that point. These days, you will need to cater to the New Customer. This is someone who expects to be treated as a person, who wants more from the experience, and who does not want to be just a number. Better customer service will ensure you are providing them what they want.
When it comes to a business, nothing matters if you offer poor customer service. Keep these five things in mind so that you can understand just how important it really is for your own success. So, make sure you are offering the best in customer service, and enjoy the positive results.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 25, 2015 and has since been updated with new images and information.