Customers' expectations are higher than ever. Technology has empowered them with ways to research companies, compare products and services, and share their experiences with millions of people.
In today's world, where businesses have tens, hundreds, or even thousands of competitors dealing with similar products or services, the only businesses that win are those that strive to meet and exceed these customer expectations through service excellence.
To paraphrase Jeff Bezos, your customers are like guests to a party, and your business is the host. Your job is to make every critical aspect of their experience better every day. Research shows that 73% of companies with above-average customer experience perform better financially than their competitors.
Ensuring your customers get the best service will benefit your business in the following ways:
1. Building Customer Loyalty
Investing in new customers is five times more expensive than retaining existing customers, according to Invesp. That is why many businesses try so hard to build a relationship with their customers to make them reluctant to shop elsewhere.
Service excellence has the most significant impact of all the methods used to boost customer loyalty. According to SalesForce Research, 91% of customers are more likely to make another purchase from a business due to service excellence.
Something as simple as treating them with kindness and respect or sending a follow-up email to enquire about their customer experience is enough to make them feel valued and keep coming back.
The more loyal your customers are, the more your profits. As little as a 5% increase in customer retention can increase your profits by 25% because repeat customers are likely to spend up to 300% more.
An important metric to track is the customer lifetime value (CLV) when running a business. It represents the total revenue your business can expect from a single customer during the length of your relationship. Repeat customers tend to have a higher CLV than one-time customers. That said, the better your customer retention, the more valuable your customers are to your business.
2. Improving Your Brand Image
Your brand image is how the public thinks about your brand. It is the first thing that comes to mind when they see your brand logo or products. The better the brand image, the more customers your business attracts and vice versa.
One of the ways you can take control of your brand's reputation is through service excellence. The better the customer service, the more your customers trust your business. 90% of customers trust a company whose service they rate as "very good," and only 16% of those who give a "very poor" rating trust companies to the same degree.
That is why investing resources to instill a culture of service excellence in your customer service function is essential. Your customer service representatives, who are in direct contact with your customers, determine whether your customers trust you and how they perceive your business.
Service excellence also allows your business to get away with a few things it couldn't with subpar customer service. According to SalesForce Research, 78% of customers will forgive a company for a mistake if they have received excellent service.
Service excellence leads to a positive customer experience, strengthening the customers' trust and improving your brand image.
3. Building Your Business's Reputation
People are talking about your business whether you like it or not. And because customers are more likely to talk about a bad experience than a good one, you should ensure your business offers excellent service to take charge of what they are saying about your brand.
When customers talk about your business to friends, colleagues, and others, it is referred to as word-of-mouth marketing. This is a potent and free marketing tool that influences 20-50% of all purchasing decisions.
A good product coupled with service excellence will have your customers automatically sharing it with their friends and family who they'd like to experience the same. On the other hand, poor customer service will have them warning their loved ones to stay away from your business.
94% of customers will recommend a company whose service they rate as "very good." After a positive experience with your company, 72% of your customers will share it with six or more people. And because 90% of customers are influenced by positive reviews when buying a product, a good business reputation significantly increases your customers and profits.
4. Giving Your Business a Competitive Advantage
In a world where your target customers are bombarded left, right, and center with advertisements from businesses similar to yours, why would they choose yours? Is there something that makes your brand stand out and will influence customers to come to your business?
Every business has its unique selling proposition. It could be low prices, premium quality goods, or logistics. If your business doesn't have one yet, you can take advantage of service excellence to help your brand stand out from the crowd. Service excellence will make your customers feel valued and bring in more customers.
60% of customers stop doing business with a company after a bad customer experience. 67% of these customers can be prevented from leaving if the problem is resolved in the first interaction. That means that service excellence will prevent your customers from leaving. It will also help your business acquire your competitors' customers.
For customer service to be a competitive advantage, your brand should focus on it in its marketing messages and then back it up.
5. Improving Employee Morale
There is a deep connection between employee experience and customer experience. Happy customers make happy employees, just as happy employees make satisfied customers.
When your employees see that your brand prioritizes customer service and all that goes with it, such as respect for others, kindness, and going the extra mile, they will feel more connected to the values and principles that your company is founded on. This pleasant and comfortable environment improves their overall satisfaction, boosts their morale, and reduces the chances that they will seek employment elsewhere.
Your employees' morale and confidence are also boosted when the customer praises your business. This empowers them to be friendly, positive, patient, proud, and solutions-oriented, keeping your customers happy and satisfied. The more engaged your employees are, the more likely they are to improve customer relationships and boost sales.
6. Increasing Revenues
By prioritizing service excellence, businesses can grow their revenues between 4% and 8% above their market. On top of that, 89% of companies offering service excellence perform better financially than their competitors. There are several ways that a good customer experience can improve the revenues of a business.
Small businesses are usually at a disadvantage when it comes to pricing. One of the benefits of scale that big corporate enterprises enjoy is the ability to offer very low prices. If small businesses were to offer these prices, they would suffer losses. And if they stick to their higher prices, they won't get as much business as the bigger businesses with lower prices.
Small businesses can justify their prices by offering a great customer experience. With a reputation for providing good customer service, small businesses can charge more because customers are willing to pay more for better services.
Their customers will feel valued and wanted, which is more important to most than low prices. And because good customer experience increases your business through word-of-mouth marketing, your business can gradually increase its market share and eat into the bigger companies.
Additionally, when customers have to choose between two companies with the same products, they are more likely to pick the business with better customer service. 78% of customers say they have decided not to make a purchase due to a poor customer experience. By offering a good customer experience through service excellence, your business will attract these customers coming from your competitors and retain yours, increasing your revenues.
Another way that service excellence improves revenues and profitability is through the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing. Your customers talk about your business for free, saving advertisement costs and increasing ROI and profits.
Profits also increase because your business can cross-sell and upsell if its customers are loyal. Cross-selling is selling a different product or service to an existing customer, and upselling is convincing a customer to purchase a comparable higher-end product than the one they are used to buying from your business.
Because the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% compared to the 5-20% of selling to a new customer, excellent customer service gives your business a very effective avenue for increasing sales and revenues.
7. Attracting Customers
Service excellence makes your customers feel valued. And because positive experiences often result in word-of-mouth marketing, your customers become advocates of your brand, increasing brand awareness.
The more the people who have heard about your business, the more customers your business attracts. Customers who come to your business through this channel are more likely to be repeat customers.
8. Increasing Conversion
It is easier to convert a lead that has experienced or has heard of your service excellence than one who hasn't. According to Salesforce Research, 89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience. Additionally, 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service.
It is easier to convert them, close a sale, upsell, and cross-sell because they already trust your business and know you value your customers.
Customers Expect Service Excellence from Your Business
Customer service expectations are higher today than they have ever been. Customers don't just want service excellence; they are demanding it. They have several options besides yours, so they are not afraid to take their business elsewhere if your business fails to match their expectations.
The six benefits of service excellence above should give you a clear idea of how offering it will improve your business.
Get professional help
Every brand wants to be known for providing excellent customer service. As recent statistics show, customer service is a crucial differentiator. When done well, it has a substantial impact on the success of your business.