Customer service is more far-reaching than most people presume. Interestingly, the customer service space is constantly evolving. As a result, an SME in Africa must keep up with the times to deliver quality customer service to its customers.
Every SME owner has one dream, to have happy customers. One way to achieve this is by delivering top-notch customer service. The importance of customer service to the growth of a business cannot be overemphasized.
As we celebrate customer service week, let’s share some essential facts that you should know about customer service.
Important Customer Service Facts
Do you want your business to grow exponentially? Have you been hoping for returning customers and recurring transactions? Efficient customer service can help you achieve this easily.
The facts in this section will open your eyes to a whole new world of possibilities. You will see a clearer picture of the impact of customer service on your business. Without further ado, let’s check them out in the spirit of the customer service week.
Customers are more likely to share bad experiences
While this is alarming, it is also easy to relate to. When you visit a store and experience bad services, you are more likely to share that experience with others. With this in mind, consider the effect of such bad reviews on your business if you get five daily.
Exactly, it could run your business down. This is why you must strive to give a great experience to your customers each time. It extends beyond in-store contact to phone calls, emails, social media, etc. The bottom line, customers will share bad experiences twice as much as they will share good ones.
One customer complaint equals twenty-six silent unhappy customers
Now, this is strange, but when you take a closer look at it, there’s a lot of truth here. Not everyone is comfortable with reporting their displeasure at a product, service, or user experience.
It is not uncommon these days to find customers reporting bad experiences on social media. Nevertheless, many others just keep quiet and don’t return. Even though only one in twenty-six customers talks, their reviews are very powerful.
People are more comfortable with online purchases these days. It is gradually becoming a norm that prospects check online reviews before patronage. Do you now see the effect of the terrible reviews on your brand sales?
To fix one negative experience, you need twelve positive experiences
Consumers are having more choices than ever. Because of the rapidly expanding range of choices, it is difficult to fix bad experiences. Once upon a time, businesses could get away with poor customer service because people didn’t have a choice. They had to return.
Today, the tide has changed, and there are so many competitors. All it takes to get a new vendor is a simple Google search. When people search for your product online, and they see an unresolved negative review, they are discouraged. According to a study, it takes twelve positive reviews to fix that in the mind of a prospective customer.
Human interaction is gradually ebbing out
Since the inception of business or trade, interaction has always been between humans. Guess what, as of 2020, 85 percent of this interaction is no longer human. Like we stated earlier, to search for a product, one just needs a quick Google search.
What does this imply for an SME in Africa? Now, your business has very minimal contact or interaction with customers. As such, you need to make the most of this short period of interaction. The impression you make at this point will determine if the customer will return or not.
It also means that you must take reviews very seriously. Customers post reviews and give star-ratings for products and services. If you get a low rating, then you can bet prospects will either not see you or neglect your business.
Customers spend more on businesses with good customer service reviews
If you are wondering why patronage has been poor, this might just be the reason. How good is your customer service? A recent study shows that customers will spend 31 percent more on businesses with excellent reviews.
This should explain your customers’ behaviours in recent times. The level of patronage, especially returning patronage, you get reflects how efficient your customer service is.
It is costlier to attract new customers
In case you are wondering why you should invest in customer service, here’s a good reason. It costs more, at least 6 to 7 times, to attract new customers than to retain existing customers. What does this tell you? Your little investment will save your business from spending excessively on attracting new customers.
Improving your customer service influences sales
Here’s another reason why you should invest in improving your customer service department. About 67 percent of customers agree that they will pay more to enjoy great customer service. What does this mean for an SME in Africa?
It is crystal clear. If you invest in creating a great experience for your customers, you will be attracting more revenue. So if you have been looking for a way to boost revenue, you just found one.
Consumer experience is as important as the product
Many SME owners focus more on their products. They spend lots of funds on research and development and forget about the consumer experience. Do you know that while customers like newly improved products, they also want great customer service?
Studies show that 80 percent of customers are just as interested in the experience as they are in the product. With this in mind, you may need to re-strategize.
Smaller companies are better at customer service
This is probably why customers prefer to go to unknown and small brands. It is not about the prices here; these smaller businesses are more efficient with their customer service. This is why customers trust them.
About customer service week
Customer service week is celebrated during the first week of October every year. It is a period where businesses show employees and customers appreciation for support and patronage. You can use this period to make adjustments to your customer service policies as well.
We believe that these facts have opened your eyes to see the importance of customer service to SMEs in Africa. Did we leave anything out? Share with us in the comments section.