In an age when more and more transactions take place with little to no human interaction, it seems odd to think that customer service is so crucial to financial stability – and even financial prosperity. Yet it is the case that customer service remains so important, albeit with a modern angle.
Year on year, customer service still tops masses of surveys as the most important element of the buying process. Regardless of the technological age in which we live, the fact still remains that people buy from people – and people are at the heart of effective customer service.
The Importance of Customer Service
It is estimated that as much as £12bn is lost in the UK due to poor customer service so, despite entering an age when the average customer attempts to minimise interaction with companies, the reduced amount of contact that they do still have is made all the more important.
The trouble in large part seems to be organisations that are too slow to adopt modern communication tools. It’s not so much that consumers are unwilling to talk to organisations and sales reps, although that is an issue, it’s more that they are unwilling to use traditional means of communication.
Social media is fast becoming one of the most important means of communication for customers. Between 2012 and 2013 the number of questions and queries asked on a company’s Facebook page rose by 85%. Put simply, companies need to adapt.
Social Media Trends
The push to use social media as part of a customer service strategy has even affected social media marketing. 43% of customers below 30 are scouting out company social media accounts for support rather than for marketing purposes. No longer is it feasible to blast out marketing content in a bid to be the ‘loudest’ company on Twitter or Facebook.
Now, the focus is on getting peers to pass on reviews and recommendations themselves, as they are trust more than a company’s direct marketing activity. Once again customer service becomes paramount. Did you know that according to Microsoft Dynamics partner, Parature, it takes as many as 12 positive reviews from customers to counterbalance the negative effect of 1 review? It’s also important to take into consideration that 95% of people who have experienced poor customer service will tell at least one person, rather than 87% concerning positive experience. Over half claim to have shared a single negative experience over 5 times. Can you really afford to offer poor customer service, when it is such an uphill struggle to combat the effects of it?
How can CRM help?
Choosing the right CRM is crucial for ensuring that customer service stays at an all time high. A powerful CRM like Microsoft Dynamics that will keep the history of previous client purchases, communications and queries archived in the one place is vital for support staff. It allows them to identify solutions to previous issues, much quicker and ensure customers get the most effective response in the quickest time. In a sense this is the traditional way in which a CRM is beneficial to your company’s customer support.
Microsoft Dynamics, in particular, offers additional support by being so interlinked with various social media platforms. This allows the user to not only monitor social media output, linked directly to a lead’s account, but also receive alerts if your organisation is contacted directly, guaranteeing a quick and speedy reply to any issues brought to your attention.
Positive customer service and the positive peer reviews it creates are crucial to ensure that customers return to use your products or services. We have mentioned in the past how much easier and cheaper it is to obtain custom from previous clients rather than prospective leads. In this respect it helps prove the economic worth of positive, proactive, customer service as there is a direct link between doing so and increased return customer. The end goal for pretty much every company is to continuing growing, customer service is key to this.
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