The Importance of Excellent Customer Service

7 November 2023

In a world where consumer options are multiplying daily and competition is sharpening, customer service is positioned not only as a best practice, but as a strategic imperative. Companies that underestimate the importance of quality customer service expose themselves to the following risks.

Brand Perception at Stake

When customers experience poor service, they not only take with them a bad individual experience, but also create a negative perception about the brand or company as a whole. This perception has a ripple effect: dissatisfied customers often share their negative experience, either through word of mouth or on social media, which shapes the purchasing decisions of many other potential consumers.

In the digital age, where opinions and experiences are shared in real time and have an international reach, a negative review can cost a company the trust of thousands or even millions of potential customers.

Loss of Business Volume

Beyond the negative perception, poor customer service has tangible consequences on turnover. Studies have shown that dissatisfied customers are unlikely to do business again with a company with which they had an unpleasant experience.

In addition, the cost of acquiring a new customer is much higher than the cost of retaining an existing one. Therefore, every customer who leaves because of poor service represents not only a lost sale, but also an increase in the company’s operating costs.

Customers at the Center

Despite this evidence, many companies still fall into the trap of not placing customers at the center of their operations. They forget that customers are the ones who pay, decide, and have the power to make a brand big or ruin it. Customers are not just another part of the business process; they are the core of everything.

Every interaction, whether direct or indirect, should be considered an opportunity to strengthen customer relationships. From product design to after-sales service, every step should be guided by customer needs and expectations.

Why? How? What?

The question of whether companies should focus on the “why,” the “how” or the “what” of the business is essential for defining corporate direction, strategy, and culture. This conceptual triad, popularized by Simon Sinek in his TED Talk “Start with Why”, provides a useful tool for analyzing the direction of any company. It also serves to build customer loyalty and set the direction of customer service policies.

The “Why”: the Purpose

The “why” represents a company’s raison d’être, its purpose beyond simply making money. It is the answer to the question, “Why does our company exist?”. When a company is clear about its “why,” it can inspire its employees, build a strong brand, and drive customer loyalty. Companies that have a clear “why” tend to have a long-term vision and seek to make a positive impact on society.

It is essential to make the purpose known. Consumers who buy the products of certain companies sometimes do not do so because they are cheaper or because the products are vastly different. Companies cannot compete on product and price alone. Consumers increasingly want to know what the company does before they buy.

The “How”: Values and Principles

The “how” refers to the way the company operates and carries out its activities. It is related to the corporate culture, values and principles that guide the company. It is essential that this “how” be aligned with the “why” since it is the way in which the company materializes its purpose.

The “What”: Products and Services

The “what” represents the products or services the company offers. It is the most superficial level and the one most people see. However, without a clear “why” and “how,” the “what” can lack direction and purpose.

Although companies need to clearly define and understand their “what” (products and services) and “how” (values and operations), it is the “why” (purpose) that should be the north and the basis of everything. A company that operates with a clear purpose is more likely to have engaged employees, loyal customers, and a lasting impact on society.

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Long-term investment in the company’s purpose is vital, as it enhances customer service. The two go hand in hand and offer multiple benefits:

In conclusion, considering the highly competitive current business landscape, companies cannot afford to neglect customers. Those that understand and value the importance of excellent customer service will not only be rewarded with loyalty and sales but will also build a strong and respected brand image.

After all, a company that genuinely cares about its customers is a company that thrives. It is time for companies to recognize and act on this fundamental truth: customers are, and always should be, at the center. But before designing their customer care policies, they must be clear about why they want to offer their products and services to customers and what they are in the market for, i.e., their purpose.

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