Customer service can make or break your company. If you don’t keep your customers happy, soon you won’t have any customers.

Customer service can be especially important for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) because it gives them a chance to compete with, and often outperform, larger corporations. If you’re an SMB, you should make customer service a priority as you are likely more agile than bigger companies and can respond to consumer issues more quickly.

Providing excellent customer service is a great differentiator and will only continue to increase in importance. Gartner research found that soon 89% of businesses will be competing mainly on customer experience.

However, saying you have excellent customer service and actually delivering excellent customer service are two different things. To help you meet (and exceed) consumer expectations, we’ve compiled a list of data-driven tips for improved customer service. To improve customer service, you must:

  • Be vigilant on social media.
  • Offer options for self-service.
  • Solicit customer feedback.
  • Invest in your service representatives.
  • Make customer service mobile-friendly.
  • And reward loyalty and personalize the customer experience.

These tips are based off studies and research of real customers and what they want to see from the brands they interact with. Check out our science-backed tips for stellar customer service in the infographic below.

 

Delivering great customer service will help your company retain customers.

Customer retention is essential to a growing business, as it’s much easier to persuade and sell to existing customers. In fact, according to a study by Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to a prospect is 5-20%, while the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%!

Follow the tips outlined here and ensure you’re making customer service a priority. Customer experiences will only become more important as innovations in technology increase and the customer-vendor relationship evolves, but delivering consistent, quality customer service will help you keep your customers happy.

Sources: Touch Agency | The Social Habit | Bain & Company | Gartner | The Huffington Post | Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report | Aspect Software | Harvard Business Review | Coleman Parkes | Ruby Newell-Legner | Genesys | Lee Resources | Carey School of Business | Software Advice | ClickFox | ContactPoint