Why Invest in Customer Service?

Why Invest in Customer Service?

A recent article in Time discusses the trending topic of Customer Service.  The article cites recent studies showing that CEOs and executives are finally catching on to the importance of customer service and are starting to make it a priority.  The author states:

Wait, why in the world would it be necessary for these concepts to “catch on”?  Isn’t it fairly obvious that making customers happy would be, you know, good for business?  Doesn’t everybody know that when customers are happy with a product or service, they tend to be loyal and probably mention their good experiences to others?  Isn’t this especially the case in an era when people use social media and review sites to discuss every product they come into contact with and every little experience they have?

It does seem to be common sense to invest money in making sure customers want to do repeat business with your company.  The problem, though, seems to be proving return-on-investment to executives whose priorities are focused on financial performance indicators that directly and quickly affect the bottom line, shareholders’ dividends, and their own bonuses.  As a marketing or customer service manager, you must learn to speak the financial language spoken by corporate accountants and executives.  The ROI might not be as quick as PPC marketing or direct sales, but it is just as effective, or possibly more effective, in the long run.  Consider the case of Groupon.  Groupon’s well documented focus was on acquiring new customers – both coupon purchasers and vendor companies who signed on to offer the deals.  Groupon did not focus on making sure both of these groups were satisfied with the transaction, which left many with a bad taste in their mouth.  Groupon’s stock has suffered as a result, and their CEO may be paying the ultimate price.

Here are some strategies to consider when connecting customer experience with ROI:

  • Evaluate the difference in spending levels between satisfied and unsatisfied customers.  Do satisfied customers come back and spend more?  Are they willing to pay more for a product if they are happy with the experience?
  • Document a link between a good customer experience and speed of purchase.  If your website is not user friendly, are you suffering from high shopping cart abandonment?
  • Challenge your CEO to spend an hour a week listening in on customer service calls.  The experience could be eye opening.
  • Everyone knows it costs less to make a repeat sale than to acquire a new customer.  What is that exact figure for your company?  How much could you save by keeping a higher percentage of customers happy?

At NBRI, we recommend using a customer satisfaction survey to gauge your customer’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions about their experience and gather suggestions to improve your business.  We will help you use the data to put an action plan in place to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.  Then, resurvey periodically to prove the ROI of your improvement initiatives. Contact us today to get started.  We also have an entire section of free whitepapers devoted to customer surveys.