4 Ways Bad Customer Service Is Bad For Business
One of the most important factors towards the success of your business is the customer experience, and that’s why you need employees who know how to deliver the best experience to every customer, whether it’s a simple product sale or an angry customer calling in with a complaint.
When your company fails to do this, it’s detrimental and can cause a snowball effect where it leads to more serious issues. What kind of harm can this do? Here are the four ways bad customer service is also bad for your business.
1. It Harms Your Business’s Reputation
This is by far the most serious issue that arises from poor customer experiences. The most valuable part of your company is its brand. You want your brand name to be one that customers trust and respect. If your company has service issues, those will damage the brand.
The unfortunate reality is that your company will receive far more criticism for a bad customer experience than it will praise for a good customer experience. People will occasionally share their experiences when a company exceeds their expectations, but this usually only happens if the company goes above and beyond what’s normal. But people will share their experiences much more often with bad service.
Social media has made it even easier for customers to share experiences to a large audience. If your company doesn’t provide high-level service to a customer, it could be all over social media within hours. It’s possible the news could reach thousands or even millions of users. When potential customers search for information about your business online, they may run into past criticisms.
Once your business has a damaged reputation, it takes considerable time and effort to repair it. Preventing problems before they start is the better approach.
2. It Results in Fewer Sales
People want to buy products from companies that they like. Although this may not be their main consideration when they go shopping, it plays a part. If their decision comes down to a business with a bad reputation and another with a good reputation, it’s obvious which one they’ll choose.
There are a couple key ways that poor service can reduce your business’s sales. The most common is that service issues during the sales process result in the customer going elsewhere. For example, maybe a customer contacts your company with a product inquiry, but no one ever follows up with him. The typical customer will be annoyed, consider your company unprofessional and decide to take his business elsewhere.
A bad reputation can stop sales before they even start. If a potential customer hears other people’s stories about your company’s poor service, he’ll be wary about shopping with you. He’ll wonder how difficult it will be to contact your company if he has any issues with the product, which could result in him going to another company.
3. It Creates a Negative Work Environment for Your Employees
Employees who have customer service positions usually understand that there is some degree of stress and difficult interactions inherent with their jobs. It’s not a matter of if you’ll end up dealing with a difficult customer, but when you’ll encounter one.
No one likes constantly dealing with negativity, though. That’s why there’s so much turnover in certain positions which are known for stressful interactions, such as telemarketing and other high-pressure sales jobs. And when your company delivers poor service to its customers, the issue can often compound.
It starts with a negative customer experience. Then, as your company develops a reputation for that, people who contact your company begin to expect it and they may become frustrated more easily. This will wear down your employees, making it harder for them to provide excellent service.
Your employees will be stressed the moment they come in to work, which will affect their performance. In the long run, you’ll have higher turnover, which is a major expense for any business.
4. It Makes Customers Less Likely to Become Repeat Customers
It’s typically your products that attract customers, but after that, your service is what keeps them coming back. And that’s important, because it will almost always cost your company more money to get new customers than it will to retain the customers you already have.
Customers appreciate companies that provide excellent service, and most customers are fine with paying a bit more money if the company consistently delivers the right customer experience.
When your business makes customers happy, you can expect many of those customers to come back when they need you again. If you offer a subscription service and satisfy your customers, you can make money every month off the same people. Amazon is a fantastic example of this. It includes a few benefits with its Amazon Prime service, and since the company has a reputation for its service, plenty of people have been willing to sign up.
On the other hand, if a customer isn’t satisfied with the service your company provides, he probably won’t stay a customer for long. He’ll make a single purchase with you at most, and then look for another company. That means your company will need to spend more on marketing.
Delivering Top-Notch Service Is a Necessity
Customers have more options than ever, especially with the growth of the online marketplace. This increase in competition means your business will need the best customer service possible to survive.
Fortunately, more service issues are avoidable. It starts with setting up the right policies and procedures for employees to follow, while leaving them some flexibility if they need to accommodate a particularly difficult customer.
You also need to make sure that you hire the right people. You want patient, level-headed representatives who ensure a professional reputation for your business. When you have the correct elements in place, you’ll avoid issues with your company’s reputation.