If you’re serious about building a thriving ecommerce business, you’ll have to dedicate time and attention to customer service.
After all, customer service teams interact with customers every day. They’re on the front lines, representing your brand, fixing problems, and building positive relationships.
When customer service is prioritized, companies enjoy a ton of benefits: more loyal customers, more positive reviews, and more revenue. That’s why focusing on customer service is so important.
Providing customer support can take up a lot of time and energy, which is why traditional customer service is often seen as a cost center. Company leaders know they need to provide service, but they see this as a “cost of doing business” rather than an opportunity to delight customers, make connections, and ultimately increase revenue.
Customer service is not just a cost of doing a business. It’s an important part of the overall customer experience. In fact, it can make or break your online store.
Need more proof? Today, we’re sharing 10 reasons why customer service is so important.
Why Is Customer Service Important?
Investing in customer service is important because it can help you create better relationships with your customers, which leads to happier customers who stay loyal and spread the word.
Exceptional customer service can do wonders for your reputation, separating you from competitors and putting you in a league of your own.
Today’s customers not only want great service, but they’ve come to expect it. Don’t let them down!
Here’s why customer service is so important:
1. Great customer service is good for the bottom-line
Customer service is about much more than making customers feel good. It’s also incredibly good for your ecommerce company’s bottom-line. In fact…
…84% of organizations working to improve customer service report an increase in revenue. Key word here is “working.” Improving customer service is an ongoing effort.
…Improving customer retention by 5% can result in a profit increase of 25%. Great customer service encourages customers to stick around, which means they’ll spend more money with you over time. That’s good news for your bottom-line.
…After a positive experience with a business, 50% of customers increase the amount of purchases they make with that brand.
…67% of customers would pay more money for a better customer service experience.
2. Positive experiences encourage customers to share with others
Although there are online reviews readily at our disposal, consumers still continue to trust recommendations from friends and family members above all else. According to Nielsen, 83% of people across 60 countries trust recommendations from friends and family.
And, if you offer good customer service, you’ll be encouraging your customers to spread the word to the people that they know.
After all, a good customer service interaction does a lot more than solve a simple issue. It actually has the power to influence a customer’s readiness to recommend your company to others.
Yep, after a positive experience, 69% are likely to recommend the company to others that they know.
3. Reviews increasingly matter to prospective customers
Today’s consumers want to have confidence when they make a purchase, so they usually read online reviews. These positive reviews increasingly matter to prospective customers. In fact, 91% of people read online reviews, and 84% trust reviews as much as recommendations from someone they know.
But if you want your brand to have good reviews, you absolutely have to focus on creating a stellar customer service experience. Positive experiences with your support team will find their way into your reviews.
More concerning is what happens when your customer service team falls short. If someone has a negative experience, they’re highly likely to write about that experience in the form of an online review– and prospective customers are likely to see it.
4. Great customer service reduces customer churn, keeping customers around
Reducing customer churn should be a primary goal for your ecommerce company. That is, you want to make sure that your customers do more than buy from you once– you want them to buy from you over and over again.
There are a number of ways you can reduce customer churn, but one of the best is to focus on providing excellent customer service. It turns out that 75% of people would return to a company because of excellent customer service.
If you have poor customer service, it’s likely to have a negative impact on churn. After a bad customer service experience, 89% of consumers reported doing business with a competitor.
5. Company culture and employee happiness are correlated with good customer service
Believe it or not, employee happiness has a pretty direct link with customer happiness. According to research from Gallup, highly engaged employees achieve a 10% increase in customer ratings.
It’s a bit of a chicken and egg question: what comes first– happy employees or happy customers? But the answer is that they both come together.
When you’re focused on making everyone in your business as happy as possible, that’s going to have a ripple effect for the overall culture of your company.
Doubling down on the customer service experience can be good for both team members and customers. When team members can make a positive impact on the customers they serve, everyone is happy.
6. Great customer service positively impacts overall business reputation
Some companies are just known for having great customer service. For example, Zappos has long been famous for providing stellar customer support, which has allowed them to compete with companies like Amazon.
When you offer great customer service, it’s going to have a positive impact on your overall reputation. Current customers will share their experiences with friends and family, and customers will write online reviews about how well they were served.
A great reputation is about more than looking good. A solid reputation leads to more customers. In fact, 55% of consumers become customers because of a brand’s reputation for great customer service.
7. Great customer service is a competitive advantage
The ecommerce space has never been riper with opportunity, but it’s also never been more competitive. When consumers have a sea of options, how are you going to stand out?
Of course, you need to have a solid and reputable product. But the customer service you offer can help you stand out from the competition. Way back in 1995, researchers began to see companies embracing customer service as a competitive strategy. If companies could treat customers better than the competition, then they’d enjoy the benefits.
In these cases, customer service goes beyond simply having your agents be nice when they answer the phone. It means crafting policies that make the customer feel taken care of throughout the buying process.
8. Customer service can be another marketing channel
When ecommerce teams provide exceptional customer service, they’re doing more than solving a simple issue. They’re also delighting their customers, making them truly happy and impressed.
When customers are impressed by what you do, they share those experiences on social media. One of the most common examples we see is from Chewy.com, an online retailer of pet supplies. Chewy regularly sends gifts and heartfelt cards to customers when the team learns that a beloved furry friend has passed away.
Chewy’s goal is altruistic: they want to support their customers at their lowest. But the side effect is that these customers share their experience with Chewy with the rest of the world. Taking good care of customers becomes a marketing channel for Chewy.
9. Today’s customers have high expectations
The rise of the internet has redefined the bounds of customer service. More than ever before, customers can get support through a multitude of channels and at any time of day. Expectations have never been higher.
These days, 72% of consumers say they expect businesses to understand their needs and treat them as unique individuals. Additionally, 66% of customers said they would switch to a competitor if they felt they were being “treated like a number, not an individual.”
Indeed, these are high expectations to meet. But if the customer service you’re offering is middling, at best, then you’re going to have trouble getting customers to fall in love with your brand and its offerings.
10. Your customers are essential to your business’s longterm health
The whole point of customer service is to offer to support to your customers. These customers are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, you wouldn’t be a brand at all.
In a competitive marketplace, you need to provide customer service for your business’s longterm health. Just like walking every day can stave off a wide variety of illnesses, taking care of your customers now will pay dividends as your brand matures.
The Importance of Customer Service: Qualities to Prioritize
Now that you understand why customer service is so important, let’s unpack the customer service qualities worth prioritizing. As you work to improve your customer service, focus on the following three areas:
- Overall quality – High-quality customer service is about more than solving customer problems. It’s also about making sure your customers are happy with the experience.
- Speed & coverage – When can customers contact you and when they do, how long does it take you to respond? Good customer service is available as often as possible, and response times should be speedy (think less than a few hours!)
- Channels – There are many forums in which you can provide customer service, from phone calls, to Twitter responses, to live chat. In order to provide exceptional customer service, you’ll need to define which channels will be used for support.
Exceptional Customer Service, More Essential Than Ever
As an ecommerce company, you have an incredible opportunity to build relationships with your customers, which will lead to a healthier business. Offering exceptional customer service is not only important– it’s essential.