Customer Service War: Myth vs Fact

Customer Service War: Myth vs Fact

pic courtesy of sxc.hu user adzica

During last week’s #leadershipchat, Becky Carroll (Customers Rock!), author of “The Hidden Power of Your Customers” shared great insights on why companies should focus more efforts on extraordinary customer service for existing customers.  For me, she was speaking to the converted.  I’m a huge proponent of a paradigm shift to spending more money and time focused on loyal customers, and less on trying to get new ones.  In fact, I believe that if you do this, you will win the war of customer service.

 

Myth: An advertised deep discount will get me more customers.

Fact: If your team is not fully engaged and ready to deliver exceptional customer experience, one-time trial will be all you get.

Depending on your business, deep discounts could lose the service war for you.  Customers could simply take advantage of the discount, not buy anything additional, leading to lost revenue.  Discounting may also cheapen the perception of your brand and in the end, kill it.

 

Myth: I have to get new customers in order to grow my business.

Fact: Building your business through existing customers is more effective. 

Becky lists 5 ways you can do this in her book, abbreviated here:

  1. Renew existing business, returning for more
  2. Buy more from you through cross-selling or up-selling
  3. Customer expands (eg growing business or family) and needs to buy more
  4. They refer or recommend you
  5. Their referral results in a new sale

If you do these right, you’ll be winning the customer service war.

 

Myth: If I just give my existing customers good service, I’ll reap the rewards of those 5 opportunities!

Fact: Just good service doesn’t cut it.

Customers have more choices and expect greater value for their money than in the past.  You have to find ways to “wow” your customers.  Build relationships with them.  Make them more successful.  An example is the up-sell (# 2 on Becky’s list).  A simple “Fries with that?” upsell doesn’t work to build loyalty and business.  If you’re going to win the customer service war, you need to find out what will truly enhance the customer’s experience, and offer to fill those needs.

 

What do you think about the customer service war?

Do you have examples of new customers reaping benefits, while existing customers make decisions whether to stay or go elsewhere?  Or is there someone who’s doing an amazing job at keeping existing customers happy?  Share your experience in the comments!

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