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Turn Your Customer Support From a Cost to a Profit Center
Posted on September 4th 2012
There’s a quote from Jeff Bezos that goes, “it’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better,” and I couldn’t agree more. Customer satisfaction isn’t just everything, it’s the only thing. And when businesses lose their way, it’s usually because they’re not properly obsessed with making the customer happy.
But somewhere along the way, many businesses got lost. Supposedly smart businesses started looking at customer service as a cost center not an opportunity, and as a result, customer service is considered an afterthought. We’re living in an era where people are jaded about customer service. Service becomes looked at as a place where business can cut costs and increase margins. Handling customer cases is measured in speed not by the quality of the relationship with your customer. Thinking becomes, “How quickly can I resolve this issue?” rather than “How can I make a customer happy?” It’s no wonder why so many people expect the worst when they think of customer service -- it’s because the current customer service models focuses on resolving cases instead of serving people. If you lose sight of the fact that you’re serving people, there are direct consequences not only for the quality of your service, but also for your product. It’s time we change the way we handle customer service, and shift from issue to a new model - a human-centric model that revolves around helping people.
Think about all of the Amazons and Zappos of the world. Customer satisfaction isn’t just everything, it’s the only thing, and it's a part of everything they are from product to the culture of the business. Even small businesses like Bonobos and Boloco are able to apply the same human-centric customer service models. They understand the value of the customer, and recognize what they need to do in order to retain them. Great customer service is about connecting every person in your company to the customer. It’s about creating an effective system so you can streamline the support process, leading to lower resolution times and increased customer satisfaction.
Every interaction your customers have with your company is an experience, and customers should be the first responsibility of your business. Businesses have to start working harder to connect with their customers, not just because change is coming, it’s because it’s here. If your customer is calling and needs your help, you need to be there to assist them. If you don’t recognize the value of your customer, they’ll leave and tell their friends. But if you do, they’re going to stay and tell their friends that your business is an opportunity. No business is going to fail by engaging with its customers and talking to them in a personal, caring way that makes them feel valued. Connecting to your customers more efficiently and delivering the kind of service they expect will make your company more successful. The better you understand your customers, the easier it is to build something that makes them happy. When you engage with your customers, they will respond, they will connect, and they will trust your company. Because what matters the most is your willingness to show customers that you care—about them, their experience with you, and about their business.
Alex Hisaka is an Inbound Marketer at Desk.com. You can find her on Twitter at twitter.com/alexhisaka.