The headline is actually not that accurate. Good customer service is way better than free because it pays dividends many times over.
Small businesses actually have an advantage in the customer service world. A small business that chooses not to spend money on an automated phone system means that the customer calling the small business gets to talk to a real person right away and not go through a series of menu options. When you buy from a small business, there is a good chance that at some point, you are going to be dealing with the owner. Who cares more about you than the owner! More often than not, big companies can’t offer this personalized service.
Customer service is actually a profit center, for four reasons:
- Great customer service gets recognized. Everything you do, like just about every other marketing interaction you have, will go on your permanent record.
- Over deliver. You can’t make your product or service ten times better, but you can provide service that makes it look ten times better than your competitors.
- In our connected culture, people love to tell stories about service, so the word spreads (or doesn’t) based on what you’re about to do.
- And finally, the most valuable customers are the loyal ones. While your team is out there making noise to get you new customers, you could be much better off by turning your existing customers into ambassadors.
And so, the money you spend on customer service isn’t simply free. It actually repays you many times over.