Customer Service: A Guide for Successful Business Growth

Written by: Roman Shvydun

Customer service has been one of the most important aspects of a successful business since companies realized that the customer journey matters.

It was first thought that customer service existed only to solve complaints and that’s it. But instead, now we can tell that solving users' problems and helping them in their customer journey is the backbone of any business.

In fact, according to Microsoft’s State of Global Customer Service Report from 2017, “96% of respondents say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand. And because customer experience is a key differentiator, empowering your service organization to deliver personalized and contextual interactions throughout the customer journey is a strategic imperative.” 

This means that the best way to “stand out from the crowd” is to provide excellent customer service that solves doubts, conflicts and helps the user reach the ultimate level of satisfaction through their purchase process.

In this short guide, we explain all you need to know about developing great customer service and we give you examples of bad customer service that you don’t want to repeat if you don’t want to lose your client.

What Is Customer Service?

Customer service is defined as the ways a company uses to maintain communication with the user. 

This goes far beyond customer support – which is a customer service branch – since companies are looking to build relationships with their buyers so they can feel connected, loved, and taken into account.

As a business, you have different channels to communicate:

  • E-mail.
  • Live chats.
  • Social media.
  • SMS.
  • Newsletters.
  • Telephone.

Moreover, if you want to make sure that your business grows, you need to ensure that you do more than just provide answers to problems. You must create a whole experience in both pre-sale and post-sale environments.

And a single department can’t do that. You need all of your business’s departments to be connected with customer service so you can provide a unified collaboration. 

Why Does a Successful Business Have Optimal Customer Service?

If you want to build a successful business – assuming that’s your goal – you don’t want to have one-time clients.

What you need is to build strong relationships, a predictable source of income, and create loyal customers that will bring you more clients through “mouth to mouth.”

Guess what? The only way to do this is through optimal customer service. 

To achieve this, you have to create a customer service plan where you establish guidelines about how to handle the interactions with your customers.

Even when you can’t think about all scenarios, you can standardize some of the most recurrent events so you can know how to deal with them.

Examples of bad customer service that affect your business growth

Here below you can find a few examples of what you shouldn’t do if you want your business to succeed.

You don’t empathize with your customer

You have been a customer at some point in your story. And it’s almost certain that you hated it when you didn’t receive answers or the people on the phone didn’t help with your problem.

That’s exactly what you have to avoid when you’re on the business’s side.

Think like a customer and come up with solutions that will help to solve the problem that the client is facing. If you don't, you’ll never understand how he feels when struggling with your product/service.

You don’t answer their questions fast

Nothing upsets a customer more than not getting a fast answer to a problem they have. 

If a client needs to solve something and you’re not there for them, they will find a solution on their own and then will try to replace you with another brand that already does solve their problem.

If you can’t answer in less than 24 hours, let them know with an automated answer.

You have a hard-to-understand product/service which you don’t explain

It’s simple, people don’t buy what they can’t understand. 

You’ll never hear someone say “oh, I don’t get what this is, give two.”

If you have a product/service that requires a manual to know how to use it, let customers know.

Give them the instructions as a small physical manual – with their purchase – or send them over through an email.

You can also create some blog entries explaining specific uses that they could give to your product/service.

5 tips to follow for successful business growth

Now that you know what you shouldn’t do, here are 5 customer service tips to follow for successful business growth. 

1. Know your buyer persona

You can’t provide good customer service if you don’t know who you are selling to. 

For example, marketing agencies take their time to get to know their clients' buyer persona. You can mimic their client onboarding process by completing one of their client questionnaires online. By going through the agency questionnaires, you will get a much clearer picture of your buyer persona and be able to provide stellar customer service.

So, do market research to define your buyer persona and come up with good solutions to solve their problems.

2. Solve doubts quickly

Fast replies sell more.

When you have tons of communication channels available – like the ones mentioned above – for the customers to contact you, you need to answer fast.

There’s nothing better when a customer enters your Facebook chat and sees something like “answers in less than an hour.”

3. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes

Again, if you can’t relate to your customer, you won’t provide great customer service.

Make sure you or your customer service team understand them before dealing with clients' complaints.

A customer that leaves a 5/5 review for solving an issue is more valuable than a client that leaves a 5/5 review just for buying your product. Even though both customers left a good comment, only one of them has more utility for future sales.

4. Don’t forget the post-sale service

The post-sale service is often underestimated when you want to build loyal clients. But it’s the best way to do it.

When you check if customers are doing well with your product or not – based on your customer-centricity business model – you can prepare new strategies and benefits for them.

5. Focus on building relationships

Don’t have a business to sell, build a business to help.

When you focus your brand on helping people – with content, webinars, how-to guides, and more – they will be more willing to purchase your products/services.

Successful customer service - Summarizing

Putting your customer first is not an easy task, it requires dedication and a new point of view for your business. But not doing it may be costing you lots of clients – whether they are newcomers or returning customers. 

There are strategies and tips you should follow, like the ones above, if you want to achieve successful business growth and consistent customer flow for your company.

Related: What Makes Email Marketing Time and Cost Efficient?