What does customer service bring to businesses?The evolution of technology has also expanded the competitive market to global offerings, whether brands are product or service-focused, and across B2C and B2B. Offering good customer service is a necessity and offering great customer service can help you stand out in the market. Nurturing such a culture in your company can foster a sense of community and common goals among employees, just look at a company like shoe etailer Zappos that puts customer service and happiness above all else. At the same time, it can transform customers into repeat customers and brand advocates empowered by the digital world to amplify word-of-mouth. Treating customer service as a brand asset, just like you would the careful use of your logo, strapline, selling proposition or style, is a key factor that adds value to your brand identity. This requires not only fostering good service within the company, but also careful monitoring and optimisation to maintain these high standards as your business grows. When successfully implemented, it can become a unique selling proposition and be the gift that keeps on giving as you establish a reputation for putting customers first.
How can marketers approach it as a USPCustomer service is not something you just keep saying until consumers believe you, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. You need to demonstrate customer service and you need to seek recognition of it. It can be as simple as sending an email requesting a customer to review their recent purchase and highlighting reviews and testimonials as much as possible. There’s a bit of risk with the possibility of unfavourable reviews, but if you believe in your products and you approach mishaps with fantastic customer service that is visible for everyone to see, it shouldn’t be a concern. Third party recognition can also come from awards like the ICS awards previously mentioned. It’s one of the ways that brands can highlight their dedication to customer service even in an ever more complex marketing technology landscape. For example, leading email service providers can stand out from the crowd by highlighting the service (and people) element rather than solely focusing on what the technology and digital world can do. Knowing that there are knowledgeable practitioners at the end of a phone or web chat to help brands start a new automation campaign, map out a new welcome programme, or improve personalisation and relevance, for example, is a critical part of the relationship. With growing confidence brands will explore the capabilities of your system, and progress to deliver better service to their customers. Whether a new startup, emerging brand or established player, in a digital era of global competition and empowered customers, companies that don’t offer excellent service might survive for a while, but they won’t stand out or pass the test of time. Start fostering a company culture around it (if you don’t already) and identify the recognition you need to make it true in the eyes of your customers.
Anca Staples is content executive at Adestra
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