In many modern businesses nowadays, the sales department is almost always a focal point in the business operation. Sales people are the ones that turn new leads into customers and by doing so, keep the revenue going. However, once the sale is made, the client will be turned over to customer service department, where things can get better or worse. The truth is, customer service is always as important as sales, because it determines if the customer is staying or not.
Retaining existing customers should be the priority. If your business is able to bring in new customers but fails to keep them happy, the business model is not going to last. Think about it like trying to fill water into a broken glass. If the glass cannot hold water, no matter how much you are filling in, the water will eventually be running out.
An unhappy customer will never return
Often, the most prominent cost of bad service is that customer’s future business. If a person is unhappy with the service, he or she will be quick to take the business somewhere else. Virtually, by upsetting that customer, you just hand over a good lead to another competitor. There will be no future purchase from that person, and no return on all the marketing effort spent on bringing in that customer. Here is a lesser-known fact: for an average business, a loyal customer is worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase. Therefore, if you lose a customer after their first purchase, you are missing out on 90% of the potential profit you could have earned from them.
Bad news travel fast
A happy customer may not take time out of his busy schedule to give you a good feedback. An unhappy customer, however, will be much more likely to make his voice heard, and that could cause undeniable damage to your business reputation and sales.
In business nowadays, we are blessed with modern technology which helps pushing our marketing effort to every corner of the world. Bad testimonials, however, are also able to travel just as fast and as far, sometimes even one step ahead of your remedy effort. Just a few decades ago, an unhappy customer can only share his unsatisfactory experience with his immediate friends, relatives and acquaintances. Nowadays, a review on Yelp or Amazon can reach other customers from half way around the world in just a few seconds. That review alone may earn or cost you a purchase.
The truth is, customer support has never been so important, for virtually any kind of business establishment. The more competitive your industry is, the more alternatives your customers can turn to. If you are providing an advanced product or service, customers will also require prompt, helpful support. Otherwise, they can drop the product altogether.
With this in mind, businesses need to strike a balance in budgeting and training effort to make sure their customer service department is up to par with the sales department.