Nothing can determine the success of a brand so much today as customer service. Long gone are the days where a solid PR team was all you needed to ensure that your brand survived any storms it encountered. In today's digitally connected world, customer service and their experience are key to a brand or companies success. Here we'll discuss why this is and what bad customer service could cost a brand.
Why is Customer Service and Experience so Important Today?
What companies like Moda Operandi show us is that customer service and satisfaction are a cost-effective solution to marketing. When people use a product, they are likely to engage with it and use it again. If customers love a product, they are likely to share it with their friends.
The internet is awash in advertising, promotional copy, and people giving the used-car salesman smile trying to sell things people don't need. So where are people turning these days for recommendations on new products? They are turning to their friends online. This is why customer satisfaction and experience is so important. Moda Operandi wouldn't see anywhere near the success it's seen so far without its customers being excited about their product and sharing what they've done with their friends. Despite being a luxury e-commerce company that most customers can't or won't afford, they have hundreds of reviews on TrustPilot with an average rating of nearly 9.0!
Giving customers what they want is crucial. Not just the product, but the experience as well. Giving customers an experience or a memory to hang to–one that they are excited about–means they are going to share that memory and experience with their friends. Their excitement and engagement are crucial to spreading the word. When the word is spread through friends, customers are more likely to trust the reactions to the product than someone trying to convince them to trust it through an advertising campaign.
Without solid customer service and an experience that people want to share with their friends, companies can instantly feel the negative kickback.
What Could Bad Customer Service Cost a Brand?
If you haven't been keeping up with the news about bad customer service experiences that turned into PR nightmares for companies, then we'll quickly discuss what bad customer service can cost a brand. Let's take for example the case of a customer who noticed that online prices were cheaper than in-store prices at his local Wal-Mart. What should have been an easy fix–just match the online price–became a PR nightmare for Wal-Mart when the customer posted about his experience of having to order the item online and request in-store delivery, only to be told that he had to return the next day once he received his order confirmation in his email. The service was bad, the experience for this customer was awful, and it made national news. Though Wal-Mart is a gigantic business and it didn't suffer much on its bottom line from this event, the perception of an individual can relay into the relationships they have around them. If the story goes viral like this example did, it can eventually lead people away from a brand or company in search of one of its competitors. So, while the bottom line wasn't immediately impacted, it's difficult to know how many potential customers heard about this experience and opted for a different company instead.
In short, bad customer service can easily drive away potential customers and impact future growth. A simple misstep like not matching an online price and putting a customer through a hassle to get their product can potentially lead to slower growth in the long run.
If you have any further questions about brand management, customer service, or how today's markets are impacted by customer experience, please contact us and we'd be happy to discuss the issue with you!