Customer Service is for Profits – not Costs

The mindset of many organisations need to change. Customer service is a profit centre and not a cost centre.

Nordstorm, Chewy, Patagonia, and Zappos
Customer service is the one great trait they all have in common!

Chewy doesn’t use an IVR (interactive voice response) system, and 96% of calls are answered in four seconds or less. Customer service representatives aren’t encouraged to cut down on the amount of time they spend on the phone because the corporation doesn’t track something called “Average Handle Time.” Instead, customer care agents are urged to focus on the quality of customer encounters, even if that means spending more time serving them. There are 3000 people on their customer service staff!

Patagonia also goes a step further by implementing a customer service approach that encourages customers to participate in the company’s vision for the future. To help clients reduce their environmental footprint, it encourages a “buy less, buy better” mindset. The company’s “Worn Wear” project, serves as the foundation of this effort.

The success of Zappos can be attributed to its dedication to customer service. It leveraged its customer care department to separate itself from other organisations in the marketplace. It follows a “Wow Philosophy,” as far as servicing customers goes. Zappos does everything it can to make sure that employees should provide “happiness to customers”. An extensive four-week training programme for new employees and each new hire is offered $2,000 if they decide to leave before the training is complete. Only those who truly want to work for Zappos are expected to stick with the company. Zappos can fulfil its promise of ‘Wow’ customer service thanks to personnel that is devoted and loyal.

It is easier for customers to leave businesses today since they have more options than ever before. On top of that, they’re much more than likely to submit a bad review for you when they leave. As a result, businesses are under increased pressure to satisfy customer expectations and provide an enjoyable shopping experience both before and after the sale.

The stakes are higher when it comes to a product category where buyers have a strong emotional attachment to their purchase. Customer service then becomes paramount!

This boils down to a fundamental question of whether customer service is a cost centre.

My recommendation – it is a profit centre

Many businesses and organisations would disagree. and a growing number are on their way too.

Here is a scenario – You have a problem. There are multiple bots to which you talk. Then there are recordings which ask you to wait in a queue, hoping to mollify you with some proclamation which is more often than not an advertisement which we don’t want to hear. Then there are the call centre executives who should not be even there in the first place.

There is a problem with these companies, not these executives. Then they recruit inexpensive labour to answer the phone. These companies only consider the expenses, not the benefits they provide. And all of these processes make sense if you view customer service as a cost centre. Any money spent cutting costs seems to enhance earnings.

Here are several reasons why customer service/ care is for profits

  • Customer service is becoming the face of the brand

Customers connect with service professionals in a variety of ways. Marketing and sales teams used to be the initial points of contact for all consumer interactions, but that’s all changed now. New and returning customers alike are now greeted by customer service as starting a relationship with the company. When it comes to skills, training, and enablement, engaging a client effectively in need of resolution and discovery mode are vastly different.

In today’s pandemic affected economy, customer service agents are essential to establishing and maintaining long-term client relationships.

  • Engagement is critical

90% of customers think they are more inclined to buy again if they had a positive customer service experience. Service is what keeps customers coming back and generates more income than any other factor.

  • Retention

Many studies show that keeping existing consumers is less expensive than acquiring new ones. Situations that need attention are brought to the notice of customer care executives by the customers. Help them to help you. Every interaction with a customer is a step toward developing a relationship with them. Keep them as a long-term client.

Loyal consumers are the most precious. To maximise your marketing and sales efforts, you should focus on retaining your current consumers and turning them into evangelists.

  • Good Deeds Spread

People love to talk ……stories. For any good story with customer service, people will talk – face to face or more likely through social media – which becomes marketing for your brand.

To quote Seth Godin” You can’t make a car that’s ten times better, but you can easily produce customer service for your car customers that’s ten times better than what most manufacturers deliver”

And so, the money you spend on customer service isn’t simply free. It’s a good investment that pays off in the long run.

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