Customer service is paramount because satisfied customers are your most fervent advocates. Word-of-mouth is still the most trusted brand-building tool.
The latest ‘Global Trust in Advertising’ report by Nielsen suggests that 83% of the surveyed people trust recommendations from people they know, and 66% trust consumer opinions posted online, whereas traditional advertisements enjoy less than a half of this trust level (Source: Nielsen).
It is just common sense that people will recommend your product or service only if they are really happy with it. The number, reach and influence of online consumer forums and discussion forums are constantly growing. The mileage that satisfied customers can give you is immense. But many times huger is the damage that unsatisfied customers can do to your brand. They might wreak havoc across discussion forums, review websites and social media. No scale of online reputation recovery efforts will be able to completely compensate for it. This underscores the importance of keeping your customers satisfied and happy.
In a world where digital technology and high-speed internet dictates much of customer interaction, people expect instantaneous response. At the touch of a finger they lodge their complaints and expect a response with equal speed. They expect answers ‘now’, not ‘later’.
This grows even more complex in today’s business scenario when your clients are spread across time zones. When you are sleeping, many of your customers are working and might end up in situations where they need your support. They can’t wait till you wake up. Even people in your own time zone might need support in after-office hours. So, it distils down to this: if you are into serious business and plans to stay competitive over the years, you need to have a customer service that runs round-the-clock. Period.
People ask for support on multiple channels. And they do share opinions with fellows on all those channels. Therefore it is critical to have multi-channel customer service that comprises phone, email, chat applications, social networks as well as self-service platforms. Such a comprehensive package is your only fail-safe recipe for a robust customer base that would happily vouch for your brand.