How Much Can You Lose Cutting Costs in Customer Service?
If you see customer service as a cost rather than a marketing program, you’d probably feel quite good about cutting back where you can. “These savings are awesome! I’m going to get some more!” you happily tell yourself.
But that good feeling could be similar to the kind of happy feeling followed by a New Year’s Day hangover. Like they say in the South, “I might not shoulda done that.” In other words, “Uh oh.”
Beware of the bad outcomes a cost-cutting point of view can get you, such as: Minimal customer service. Frustrated customers. No word of mouth, or bad word-of-mouth. And what do you miss? Satisfied customers who return with their business and refer their friends.
Chances are, you’re not the only contractor in town. There are other companies that can install, repair and service the same equipment you install, repair and service. Clearly, it’s not your products that keep business coming back. It’s the value you bring to the services you provide. That value is extended and enhanced through helpful, knowledgeable customer service – whether in the home, on the phone or online.
In a sea of contractors offering common commodities, customer service is your differentiator – raising a value that can’t be measured in price alone.
Your starting point is availability and access. Make sure your customers can find how to contact you through whatever channel they prefer: phone, email, social. Then be responsive to their questions and empathetic to their concerns.
Good customer service can also be important for viral marketing (or an important lack thereof). While no one controls what spreads like online wildfire, we know good customer service stories get shared – and so do bad ones. Invest in positive experiences. Protect yourself from the negative results. And forget the view of customer service as expense.