Posted by Fred Lizza, CEO, Dydacomp
#3: Improve Customer Retention
It only takes one poor customer experience to produce countless lost customers due to a negative review online. For an SMB, leveraging customer service can be a differentiator. You can make your company stand out from the competition by being customer-centric and providing instant responses to requests for order information.
Keep in mind that according to Consumer Reports, 64 percent of survey respondents have walked out of stores due to poor service and 71 percent of survey respondents were extremely irritated when they couldn’t reach a human on the phone. And with internet groups, blogs and product rating platforms available today, a very small number of unhappy customers can have a much larger negative impact than ever before.
The questions you need to ask about your ability to provide top customer service include:
- Do you have tools that provide visibility into your customers’ orders across channels?
- Do you have a customer service team in place that can use these tools to quickly respond to customer inquiries and engage them?
- Are you able to view the status of an order online or be able to call up and get information in real time?
Customer service is especially critical in today’s age of the customer. In order to succeed, businesses must engage with their customers and empower them through an effective and efficient user experience.
According to Yelp, “focus on great customer service and the ratings and reviews will come.” If a yelper mentioned good customer service, they are more than five times as likely to give a 5 star review rather than a 1 star.
Keys to improved customer service:
- Accurate, immediately accessible customer information.
- Avoid asking for the same information already provided.
- Personalize the experience. For example, what do you know about this customer from prior conversations, posts or emails?
- Triggered events. Automate the follow up process.
Again, this information should already be in your order management infrastructure, enabling you to improve service immediately. You don’t need multiple specialized systems that are a nightmare to integrate and maintain. One good Order Management System should be all of the infrastructure you need.
To be continued…
 ConsumerReports.org,June 7, 2011,“Consumer Reports Survey: Two In Three Consumers Have Walked Out Of a Store Because Of Poor Customer Service”
 Yelp, May 3, 2012, “Customer Service” has a Big Impact on Yelp Ratings”