By Rebecca David
Customer service is everything. It has the power to make or break a company’s image and even just one instance of bad customer service can result in the loss of many customers. Think about it: when you experience bad customer service with a company, whether it be a lack of salespeople to help you in a store, being put on hold for too long during a phone call, or even a encountering an employee with a bad attitude, how likely are you to tell someone else? I know for me, if the service is bad enough to be the worst part of my day, I won’t tell just one or two people, but I’ll go on and on about it to my family, friends, and coworkers.
These days, customer service is undervalued, and many employees simply don’t care enough to go above and beyond what is expected of them. Furthermore, most companies don’t focus on customer service as an essential part of building their brand’s reputation; customer service never becomes part of the company’s culture and therefore never makes its way to consumers. This reveals a lack of respect on the company’s behalf and creates negative brand beliefs and feelings amongst consumers.
On the other hand, good customer service gets rewarded in the long run. Through good customer service, customers develop brand loyalty and associate positive feelings with the company and its employees. Moreover, superior customer service gets people talking about the brand and can cause customers to become raving fans of the company, referring friends left and right. These customers are critical to marketing the brand and will draw countless customers in simply by talking about the company enthusiastically.
Although companies need to have good products and marketing to be successful, superior customer service is the key to building a brand’s reputation. This doesn’t mean smothering customers or giving in to their every request. Rather, it means relating to customers and doing everything you can to ensure they have a positive experience with the company, giving them the respect they deserve and showing that you care about them more than just their sales dollars. This kind of service establishes brand loyalty and transforms customers who come and go into customers who stay for life. Consequently, if a company wants to build its brand and reputation, quality customer service is non-negotiable.