When you think of customer service; many of us picture retail, hospitality or fast food restaurants preaching “service”. However customer service doesn’t just apply to retail or hospitality sectors. In fact, it applies to all types of companies; even product business models, SaaS models, marketplace models, software companies require customer service.
Customer service can be seen in the form of a contact/ enquiry centre for a E Commerce store, a live chat/ support person for a B2B software company. Customer service essentially allows customers to find solutions to questions about a product, fix issues and satisfy any issues or complaints they have.
Why is customer service so important? Because without customers a company is nothing – customers drive word of mouth referrals; which is found to be one of the most powerful features for business growth. Word of mouth is essentially a network effect, that can be increased heavily through the internet. In fact, according to Forbes – WOMMA and the American Marketing Association (AMA) found that 64% of marketing executives believed that word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing.
Now customer service isn’t all there is to driving growth in a business, and growth may not even be a goal for all businesses as there are many phases and stages that a company may go through. Customer service also isn’t all there is that is associated with customer success – for example, a 10/10 customer service team cannot trump a 1/10 quality product.
However, customer service is important because at the end of the day, companies are dealing with people – and if you make people happy, it is quite obvious that this will help in the long term –driving more referrals which can lead to more revenue and improving the brand. Customer service can exponentially grow a business and at the same time, poor customer service can lead to a business to fail. While there are many other factors such as management, marketing, financing, operations, R&D etc. customer service is definitely a factor that needs to be considered heavily, and placed as a high priority in order to sustain, grow and succeed.
At the small business level, staff need to respond to enquiries and issues that customers have. At a larger scale, large companies and organizations require contact centres/helpdesks to deal with the tremendous amount of customer issues and questions on a daily basis. For many, it is difficult to manage so many enquiries so many companies opt for a solution such as a cloud contact centre – which has many benefits such as call recording privacy and data compliance, flexibility for staff to work from home – which allows companies to scale effectively. Essentially this allows companies to serve more customers regardless of location. Due to many isolated because of the COVID-19 crisis, cloud contact centre solutions have been a necessity in order to effectively operate and service customers. Cloud contact centre solutions are a market predicted to grow and it appears with the combination of Artificial Intelligence in speech recognition and speech to text – it will continue to deliver faster and efficient customer service.