The Do’s and Don’ts of Customer Service for Marketing ROI
Marketing can take your business only so far. The customer experience is an extension of your brand, and a fundamental element of customer experience is the customer service experience. Expectations for customer service are higher than ever, and it can make or break your marketing ROI. Consider these sobering statistics published by MarTech on the effects of poor customer service:
- 78% of consumers say they have bailed on a transaction because of a poor experience.
- 89% have stopped doing business with a company after a poor experience.
- 44% have switched to a competitor because of a poor experience.
- 58% will never again do business with a company after they’ve had a poor experience.
Do’s and Don’ts of Customer Service to Help Your Marketing ROI
The specifics of customer service best practices may vary based on your industry and business model, but here are some essential principles to keep in mind:
DON’T Assume Your Employees Know What’s Being Promoted.
You and your marketing team may have spent weeks developing a promotion, and it may have consumed much of your time and energy, but that doesn’t mean your employees are aware of it.
DO: Inform your employees about current and upcoming promotions. If a customer calls to ask about a particular promotion—whether it’s a new product, a discount, or an event—the person who answers the phone should understand what the customer is talking about and be able to speak knowledgeably about it. Ensure that informing employees of your promotional marketing campaign is included as part of your strategy.
DON’T Be Inaccessible.
65% of consumers are frustrated by inconsistent experiences across channels.
DO: Be reachable and responsive across all channels. Customers want choice. Some prefer not to get on the phone for customer service, so ensure that emails are monitored and responded to promptly. The same is also true for social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter. In addition, live chat capability is become more popular, and a good FAQ section on your website allows for a kind of self-service for customers that can be a convenient way for them to get the answers they need.
DON’T Let Just Anyone Answer the Phone.
29% of customers cite poorly trained employees as a reason for switching to a competitor. Even worse are rude employees, accounting for 42% of customers who take their business elsewhere.
DO: Assign someone knowledgeable to answer the phone. The person assigned should thoroughly understand your company and your promotions. They should be friendly, customer-oriented, and helpful. Ensure that the person assigned to answer the phone represents your brand in a positive way.
DON’T Be Slow to Respond.
Customers don’t like to be put on hold. Not only is it frustrating, but it demonstrates a lack of respect for the customer’s time. 25% of customers say that being put on hold is the reason they have switched to a competitor. In addition, research indicates that 39% of consumers expect a response on social media within 1 hour.
DO: Respond quickly. Speed is a competitive advantage when it comes to customer service. As an example, the average response time among businesses on social media is 5 hours. What that means is that for at least 39% of consumers, as noted above, businesses are failing to meet their expectations. This represents a valuable opportunity for businesses who develop a strategic plan to improve response times.
DON’T Overpromise and Underdeliver.
If you’re looking to run off customers, there are few more efficient ways to do it than to make promises you can’t keep. In addition, it puts your reputation at risk and undermines the very goals of making promises, such as building trust, pleasing your customers, and reducing uncertainty.
DO: Ensure your promises are realistic. Before you make a promise, be certain you can deliver. Making a realistic promise you can fulfill is always better than over-promising and then failing to make good on your word.
DON’T Assume All Customers are the Same.
Recognize that your customers’ values, understanding, and expectations vary. Plus, some customers are new to your business, while others have been loyal to your brand for years. A one-size-fits-all customer service experience is not a recipe for success.
DO: Personalize your communication and responses. There are so many ways to personalize the customer service experience that customers have come to expect it and are dissatisfied when they don’t get it. It can start with something as simple as using their name and training employees to smile and make eye contact in face-to-face interactions. Employees should also be trained to be friendly and engaging when interacting with customers. Rewarding loyal customers is another way to personalize your response.
DON’T Give Your Customer the Run-Around.
A customer who is put on hold and transferred multiple times will become frustrated and dissatisfied with their experience even if they ultimately get the resolution they want.
DO: Have direct communication and instructions or answers. No customer wants to have to hunt for the information they need. Well-trained employees and good documentation can improve the customer’s experience, which builds trust and loyalty.
DON’T End the Conversation There.
The customer service experience should not end when the customer hangs up or the issue has been resolved.
DO: Make sure to follow up with customers and give them an opportunity to provide feedback on their customer service experience. Depending on the nature and size of your business, you can ask them to fill out survey or follow up with a phone call to ensure their expectations have been met.
Businesses sometimes don’t realize the effects of customer service on marketing ROI. If you recognize any of your customer service practices in the “DON’Ts” listed above, it could be negatively affecting your marketing ROI. Evaluate your customer service approach to identify areas for improvement and develop a plan to address each area.