Customer Service Trends Today

I live in a small town of Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, and I go into many retail stores frequently. I am well trained in marketing techniques, and customer service so it pains me to see how many of the local businesses, both large and small do not take advantage of good customer service.

Your average big box retailers, ASDA, Tesco, and Morrisons are all under the impression that they need to cut their work force, and cut down on customer service, which is a good thing for small businesses as they have the opportunity to get a foot hold in the retail marketplace that was not available before.

Here are the top 5 trends in customer service today:

1) Customer support through conventional call centers isn’t enough anymore

2) There is strong demand for social media in customer support

3) The state of current online customer support is disappointing

4) There’s great potential and business value in providing quality social customer service

5) Companies must make the customer experience & customer retention a priority.

Should you invest in systems & processes to meet that priority?

Lets just walk through your local grocery store shall we? You are shopping and you are looking for a product that the store normally stocks, but it is not in the spot that you thought it should be. You flag down an employee of the store and ask them where are the pickles?

  • In store A, which sells travel luggage. they say aisle 5, and point down the row of aisles.
  • In store B which is a wooden flooring supplier, they not only say that it is on Aisle 5, but offer to take you to the product so you do not get lost, and finally
  • In store C. You have to travel all the way up to the front of the store to find an employee.

Now which of these three stores would you like to shop at?

Here is another example of customer service that I deal with every day. You have a question, so you dial up your local retailer. When your call connects you get greeted with an answering machine that offers you a menu of choices. The second store has an actual answering service that answers the phone. Which is more appealing to you?

Now lets see some statistics to back up the fact that customer service is KEY to the success of a business:

  1. A 5% increase in customer retention increases profits up to 125%.
  2. A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%.
  3. It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.

In short, your business can not afford to not have good customer service. Statistics, and trends show that a business that has good customer service will reduce the cost of their business while increasing their profits. While the business that has less or no customer service will slowly lose sales, and die.