Do you remember the famous saying, “It takes years to build a reputation but just moments to ruin it?” Well, that statement is still as true and valid as ever, especially for SMEs in Africa who might have taken years to build their businesses.
For these businesses to thrive, especially amid numerous competitions, customer service is essential. In layman’s terms, customer service is how you, as a business owner, can serve your customers, which directly and indirectly reflects your brand’s values as a whole.
Research carried out has suggested that about 60% of businesses and organisations prioritise customer service. This action is because business owners, through customer interaction, have learned what works for the business and what doesn’t. Quality customer experience tops the list of what works; here’s why:
Customer Service Builds Trust And Creates Customer Retention
When customers trust your business, and what you stand for, it always makes them come back for more. Of a truth, building trust takes time. It also requires some level of consistency in ensuring they have a great experience every single time.
Once you attain this level of trust with your customers, retention is inevitable. What’s more? Providing the best service to your customers will earn you some goodwill to make up for unforeseen mistakes that might occur in the future.
Differentiates Your Business From Others
Your business isn’t the only business rendering such services to people. However, your business can stand out among businesses that offer such services. One of the keys to ensuring this happens is by providing a unique customer experience.
By being that business that offers customers the best service they’ve ever come across, it stands you out from the crowd. In return, you will be rewarded, especially when the market becomes oversaturated. You won’t have any cause to worry about competitions.
Earns You Referrals
What better way to appreciate SMEs in Africa than referring them to family, friends, and acquaintances? Referrals aid the growth of small businesses, which comes at practically no cost to the business owners.
According to a survey carried out by Nielson, 83% of people trust recommendations for products and services from people they know. Let’s not forget that trust is directly linked to an excellent customer service experience.
Recommendations have been made easier with social media; this allows customers who love your products and services to recommend you to others easily. Furthermore, prospective customers can also ask for recommendations on a particular product or service your business renders.
Boosts Your Chances To Upsell
An integral part of growing SMEs in Africa is upselling customers. Upselling is essential because the cost of retaining already established customers is not as high as that of acquiring new ones.
For example, if you have some products or services you’re willing to expand, your number one target should be your pre-existing customers. You have built trust with them over time, so it’s easier to sell to them than going out there to source for new customers.
As an SME in Africa, upselling customers boost productivity and also encourages the expansion of your business.
Maintains Brand Reputation
Maintaining a reputable brand is essential to the growth of SMEs in Africa. For this to happen, you must ensure you tick the box for customer satisfaction. Having a happy and satisfied customer every time boosts your brand reputation, which in return increases profitability.
The way you address customers’ complaints reveals a lot about your business and brand, which spreads like wildfire with time. Suffice to say that maintaining a reputable brand is hinged on customers’ satisfaction.
Higher Conversion Rate
Your business’s conversion rate is determined by the quality of the service you offer to your customers. For instance – at some point, your business provided poor customer service; customers could have complained about it on the internet. As a result of the complaints, your sales come crumbling. If, on the other hand, you offer your customers quality service, they use the same internet to give positive feedback and reviews about services rendered. In return, this leads to a higher conversion rate for your business.
Customers Will Pay More
When your brand has been tested and trusted by customers, they will be willing to pay more for your services if need be. This result is even more feasible when they are guaranteed a better customer experience.
Customers take quality service seriously; they are willing to pay more to a brand that does it well. Let’s face it; every single experience matters when your customers are involved. A positive one is a step in the right direction. On the other hand, a negative experience can lead to your downfall as a business owner.
The importance of customer service to the growth of any SME in Africa cannot be overemphasised. According to the 2016 State of Global Customer Service Report, 60% of customers stop doing business with a brand after one poor service experience.
However, this is preventable if business owners can address customers’ complaints during the first interaction. Finally, we live in an era where businesses and companies are fast prioritizing customer satisfaction. Providing excellent service to your customers will help to retain them. Furthermore, you’ll also generate more customers – including your competitors’.