The power of the consumer

Satisfied customers who are willing to spread word of mouth about your business are one of the most powerful assets you have. Having a story about your customer service trend worldwide can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool, attracting a lot of attention to your business.

A few years ago Sainsbury’s renamed its tiger bread after a letter a three-year-old girl wrote to the company, saying the bread looked more like a giraffe, went viral. This story confirmed that the supermarket cares about its customers and that it considers their opinions enough to cause a rebrand of a product.

The power of word of mouth

Nonetheless, while it may be true that the best advertising is word of mouth, it can also be the worst kind of advertising. According to an American Express survey in 2012, one person with a bad customer service experience will directly tell 53 other people about the experience via social media, who pass it on to their friends and families.

How to avoid negative word of mouth

You don’t have to go above and beyond like Sainsbury’s to satisfy your customers. However to avoid any negative press, follow these easy tips for service success!

The simple gesture of thanking customers can be very effective. Note that this doesn’t mean sending out an automated response, delaying the acknowledgement is critical to ensure it comes across as being more personal and sincere.

  1. Make sure you come across as approachable and genuine. A stilted, overly formal service style, even from the most caring providers, puts a ceiling on how intimate and inviting the interactions can be between employees and customers.
  2. Last impressions matter just as much as first impressions, and are often overlooked. It’s very easy when you’ve completed an interaction to rush on to the next one with the next customer.
  3. Learn how to apologise and turn complainers into advocates. Things will go wrong. If you can wow someone and completely turn their view of your business around, chances are they’re going to be so thrilled that you took them seriously and actually cared about their experience that they are likely to sing your praises all over social media.
  4. Go digital. According to a Speechcycle and Echo research study, 50% of smartphone users would prefer to use a mobile customer service application to try to resolve their issue before calling into the contact center. While most companies haven’t explored enabling their agents to talk to customers via text, many are diving in on Twitter and Facebook to answer their customers’ questions.

Today’s customer needs to feel valued or they will take their business elsewhere. 68% of businesses lose a customer because they feel a company is indifferent about them. Whereas, 9% leave because of what a competitor is doing . These simple solutions are easy to implement can could make a world of difference to your level of customer service.