There was a time when businesses could get away with hiding from their customers, particularly when they knew they had done something wrong. Those days are long gone.
Good customer service is more critical than ever and businesses that want to survive and thrive must value their customers and build good relationships with them.
In fact, there are simple ways that small businesses with tight budgets can improve their customer service. Here are some findings from Expert Market UK’s recent customer service study, which found that:
- 72% of UK customers would ditch their purchase for a competitor if they didn’t get an email reply within one day;
- British businesses lose 85% of callers if they don’t answer within five minutes or less;
- 67% of Brits who are hanging on the phone want updates on their place in the queue or time left to wait;
- Most people still prefer an old-fashioned phone call (50%) or email (44%) to make their complaints, rather than using social media.
The biggest damage occurs when potential customers don’t get the information they need when they first enquire (57%). The other danger point is when a customer has made a complaint but is not satisfied the response (26%).
Phones and email are still the preferred channels in the UK and respondents polled said businesses should focus on increasing their customer service staff (36%), providing contact details (24%) and making sure staff are aware of current policies and promotions (20%).
In fact, complaints can often be turned into wins for small businesses. Always contact customers promptly, using their preferred method. At the same time, make it easy for customers to reach you by displaying contact information clearly.
Victoria Elizabeth is digital asset executive at Expert Market UK.