Consider a case where a customer reaches out to a brand’s customer service center, complaining about an unusual activity on the credit card. Instead of assisting the customer with the fraudulent activity of $350 dollar stolen, the customer service representative denies helping. Instead, the representative blames the customer for not acting maturely.
After such disappointing interaction, it’s apparent that the customer will switch the brand!
Despite the fact that this exact scenario hasn’t arisen at your company, there’s no guarantee that this won’t happen with you in future. Today, customers call in every second to complain about a product or about some charges that they were not expecting to see on their invoice. Others may contact you to request expedited shipping or ask if they can get a discount for their birthday. Clearly, a customer here has multiple needs and is hungry for a great service experience. Once a brand understands this and lays a foundation for a strong customer service, there’s no going back. Such service also enhances your brand’s value and presence. Conversely, if your customer service is below-par, the whole world will hear about it and devalue your e-commerce brand very quickly. Brands that provide great customer service assure greater customer satisfaction and gain better customer retention.
Now our question is – have you been cutting corners on customer service? Here’s what you need to know about the impact of customer service on your brand’s value and market power.
Great Service “Humanizes” Your Brand
Human-to-human service interactions are important especially in e-commerce where so many transactions happen solely between humans and a website or an app. In these scenarios, customers may require help before, during, or after a transaction. Are you providing this help or ignoring their need for human intervention?
Your service department directly interacts with customers to answer their questions, provide information, and resolve their complaints. The ability of service reps to satisfy these needs with high-quality and personalized service goes a long way towards boosting your brand’s credibility and perception. But if interactions are anything like the hypothetical example above, your brand will lose its credibility very quickly because unhappy customers will tear your brand – and its value – to shreds.
Your Brand’s Mission and Values Reflect in Customer Service
Your customers don’t necessarily know your brand’s mission, vision, and values. What kind of brand image do you envision? To understand these aspects and determine if a brand matches their own mission, vision, and values, buyers look at your advertisements, social media presence, and website. They also assess your customer service.
Through one-on-one interactions, your customer service team has an opportunity to let customers know what the brand stands for. They can understand customers better and build meaningful connections that bring them closer to the brand. These interactions are some of the great ways to boost the brand’s image and enhance its value. A healthy image of a brand fosters a trust factor within a customer and pulls the crowd (prospects). A customer starts trusting the brand more, whether they experience the service first hand or hear it via word of mouth.
Happy Customers are Loyal Customers and “Customer Evangelists”
Bad customer service results in poor experiences that customers will talk about with others. One study found that 49% of customers shared bad experiences on social media and 76% shared them in-person with friends and family. These people are highly motivated to criticize a brand if they feel unsatisfied or short changed during a service interaction.
These stories can go viral very quickly and create a negative impression about your e-commerce brand. To dig yourself out of the hole, you might have to spend a lot of money on damage control – which you could have avoided by paying more attention to your customer service function.
Fortunately, positive run-ins with customer service result in good experiences which also motivate people to talk about the brand in person (74%), on social media (38%), and on review sites (27%). These stories can pull in more customers and reduce your customer acquisition costs (CAC), which can be higher for companies that don’t invest in customer service. Moreover, happy customers are more likely to remain loyal to your brand, which will not only boost its value, but also decrease your churn rates.
The beauty of e-commerce is that it allows customers to engage directly with a brand, browse a wide range of products, and select exactly what they need. But sometimes, these buyers need help along their purchase journey. It’s vital to provide this help at the right time because a failure to do so can undermine your brand and its value in potentially irrecoverable ways.
So, if you have been ignoring customer service in favor of focusing on all other areas of your business, we hope this article has convinced you why this is a mistake. Keep in mind that great customer service can improve your customer relationships, bind customers to your company, and garner their loyalty and support. Ultimately, it can enhance your brand’s presence in a crowded e-commerce space.