Throughout the pandemic, businesses have found innovative ways to help their customers shop and open their stores, all in order to service their customers better. With many shops forced to close for several months, the pandemic helped businesses realize the value of customer service and to promote positive experiences and create new ways to retain customers. Customer service should always be a priority, though, not just during hard times.
With access to products from across the globe, customers now have more choices than ever. And with shopping becoming more of an experience than a transaction, providing a positive customer experience can make or break a company. Below, we’ve outlined three reasons why businesses should place a high value on customer service post-COVID-19, even after your business has reopened.
1. Customers care about brands that care about them
We’ve all received offers from brands that we can immediately identify as disingenuous. Sales on unnecessary products, marketing emails from companies you haven’t heard from in forever, or obligatory emails about how they’re there for you — whatever the subject, we know you’ve all encountered these, especially during the pandemic. Marketing during the pandemic can be a difficult job, but taking advantage of customers during hard times is ineffective and simply wrong.
Customers can immediately sense when brands are just trying to take their money and when they truly care. And they want to help support caring businesses, especially during tough times. This relationship starts from the first transaction and will follow the brand throughout the customer lifecycle. If the brand didn’t show compassion and a high value for customer service during the first transaction by being polite, answering questions in a timely manner, or proactively offering assistance, then they will never be able to make up for the loss in confidence.
By teaching your company to treat customers as people, not dollar signs, you can create genuine experiences between them and your customer service representatives. Those that fail to understand the value of customer service are losing out on opportunities to build brand loyalty. And since maintaining existing customers costs less than attracting new ones, you genuinely should care about them.
2. Customers have higher expectation
Even before COVID-19 inspired exceptional customer service, 54 percent of consumers were already expecting more from customer service than they did a year ago. That means that traditional experiences are no longer going to satisfy customers or help you retain them. Brands need to create exceptional, unique experiences to help drive customer retention and profits.
With more ways to implement new innovations to fulfill customer service requests, brands can remain competitive by selecting solutions that meet their needs. Chatbots on social media and websites, virtual queue management software or call-back services are just a few technologies that have been popularized during the pandemic. As customers become increasingly tech savvy, deploying technology to exceed customer expectations will become necessary. Now is the time to think creatively about how to demonstrate to customers that you understand the value of customer service.
3. It’s how you’ll be remembered
Customer service, whether positive or negative, will be how you’ll be remembered. Friendly representatives or short wait times are not necessarily the norm in businesses and retail environments, even though they should be. By creating positive experiences, you’ll stand out in the mind of the customer — and among your competitors — as a business that understands the value of customer service.
It’s also how you’ll be known to future customers. Whereas only 87 percent of customers share their good experiences, 95 percent of customers will tell others about their bad experiences. That means that bad customer service could not only cause you to lose current customers, it could make you lose potential ones. Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful tools for a brand, so it’s important to make sure that what others are hearing is only positive.
It’s also becoming increasingly easy for potential customers to see how brands operate. Social media has made it commonplace for customers to call out brands publicly for good or bad behavior. Ensure that anything that can be seen publicly is positive. If it’s not, take the steps to rectify the situation. Customers and potential customers will see that your brand has a high value for customer service and will respect that you are trying to do better, not just ignoring their reviews.
With QLess queue management software, we’ve helped brands increase customer loyalty, improve customer satisfaction and raise revenues. If you’re looking for an easy-to-implement COVID-19 customer service solution with immediate results, get in touch today!