Think of a recent large purchase you’ve made? Chances are you’ve either saved up money or you made an impulse purchase. There are several factors that influence an impulse purchase but the most important is the customer service experience.
Think about it, if you really didn’t have the money you wouldn’t make the purchase, so cost isn’t always a factor. Your mood at the time can play a part but someone had to keep you in good spirits from the moment they said “hello.” Maybe the agent or associate you dealt with demonstrated value for you, or you found yourself laughing at several points in the interaction because they had a great sense of humor. Either way, you ended up making an impulse purchase because you felt good about the buying experience.
Customer service is the buying experience. It’s the stage where associates act in the starring role as lead influencer, delivering improvised lines that get your audience to buy tickets every time you’re in town. It doesn’t matter if this performance takes place in retail, healthcare, online sales, or a Girl Scout cookie table; the way you were treated helped you make the decision.
Repeat business is born out of a single interaction, it is where your reputation begins to take shape. It just takes one customer to have a great buying experience, feel moved by it, and decide to post about it on their social media accounts. Now the world is witness to this one purchase, one shouldn’t underestimate the power of this resulting action. According to a survey conducted by PwC, 65% of consumers think a positive customer experience is more influential than advertising. Companies spend thousands every year on marketing but refuse to acknowledge their flawed customer service approach.
An example of this can be seen among American fast food companies; Chick-Fil-A has barely any television advertisements and a limited social media presence compared to places like KFC. However, Chick-Fil-A does better business than KFC and competitors in many markets because not only is their product excellent, but their customer service has a nationwide reputation for being top notch.
Too many companies fail to understand what the buying process looks like from the customer’s end, and in doing so try to solve what they perceive as problems instead of the real problems. Improving your customer service brings more people into your circle, people who will not only join your mailing list but actually read those messages about promotions or product updates instead of just sending them to the “junk mail” folder. They will want to be a part of your team because, in a way, you accepted them into your life when you made the effort to build a great relationship from the start.
Now, think about a recent large sale you or your company made. Something convinced your customer to go through with the sale, and if companies learn to channel that same “something” with every interaction, they can undoubtedly increase their sales.