Sales is the core of many business, be it a startup tech company or a traditional manufacturer. A good sale person often gets all the attention as he or she is the one who searches for leads and converts them into paying clients. This is why many business owners choose to invest heavily into developing a strong sales department. It is a wise decision to do so. However, some choose to ignore another important factor of the business: customer support. This is actually another integral part of the business that can decide the survival of the business.
No matter what strategy you are using to bring in a customer, spend just as much or even more effort to keep that customer happy. There is no point of filling in a leaking bucket. So before trying to get more customers, make sure you can handle the support and service that these new stream of customers will demand.
Balancing between Finding and Retaining Customers
Usually, if your customer service is not up to par, the first loss you will see is the recurring business from existing customers. Since after the sale process, customers will be handed over to the service department. If a customer is not completely satisfied there, he or she will be on the lookout for alternatives. This is even truer for business in the service industry. So by losing the customer, you are losing out on all the future purchase that he or she would have made and essentially, you are giving a customer to one of your competitors. All the effort in getting and converting the lead, even educating them about the products, will be wasted.
This cost has been highlighted in recent studies. Here is a proven fact: future business from a returning customer is worth 10 times as much as the value of their initial purchase. So if your customer support is not satisfactory to customers, you may be losing out on 90% of the potential sales from existing customers.
The Power of Reference
If you think about it, it is quite hard to ask a happy customer to give you a good testimonial to show other potential leads. However, if you upset a customer, you will be sure to hear from them. Hopefully that customer speaks directly to you, but more often than not, the upset customer will channel his anger into a bad review. This can cause irreparable damage to the name of your business and product.
With the help of the internet, marketing effort can travel farther and faster nowadays. However, it also makes it easier for reviews, good or bad, to be accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Before, your upset customer can only vent to his family and acquaintances. Now, he can post a review online for the whole world to see.
This pushes businesses to focus on creating true value to customers. Customer service is now more crucial than ever. More than just making sales, the spotlight is now on the service and support that a customer can expect from a business. This means, business owners need to strategically balance their resources, including budget and training, between sales and customer service.