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In today’s highly competitive business environment, it’s important to understand the need for developing and implementing a customer service strategy. A customer service strategy details how you will interact with your customer – from your first contact through the life of the customer/business relationship. This is one of the most important steps toward business success. Here are a few reasons why.
The cost in dollars and effort required to gain a new customer: Think about the money and effort you put into gaining a customer. A strategy is needed to insure retention of your customers. Your customer service strategy should complement your marketing strategy so that your advertising dollars are not wasted through customer defections.
The costs to gain a new customer versus the costs to retain an existing customer: It has been stated that the cost of acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 10 times the cost of retaining an existing customer. Sixty-eight percent of customer defections take place because they feel poorly treated. An unhappy customer will tell eight to sixteen others about their dissatisfaction. The popularity of social media allows a dissatisfied customer additional avenues to share their experience. Customer retention should be the primary focus of your customer service strategy.
A referral from a loyal customer costs you absolutely 0 dollars yet adds additional revenue to your business: A loyal customer will refer others to your business if your service delivery is consistent and the customer feels valued. They become your “word-of-mouth” ambassadors, trumpeting their satisfaction with your products/services. This is done at no cost to you!
Loyal customers have a positive impact on your business: Valuing your customers creates loyal customers. A loyal customer will continue to do business with you despite offers from your competition. Creating loyal customers should be the ultimate goal of your customer service strategy as this leads to a higher level of customer retention which has a positive impact on the long-term success of your business.
A strategy creates synergy within your organization: A strategy requires that all within your organization understand their role in providing great customer service – to each other within the organization and to the external customer. Everyone’s role is defined and processes developed to insure that a customer service system exists for efficient internal customer interactions and consistent delivery of the product/service to the external customer.
Take the time to develop and implement a customer service strategy for your business. You will be rewarded with loyal customers, which drives customer retention, which leads to referrals, which increases long-term profitability!