3 Jul 2019, 12:30 — 7 min read
Background: Customer service is vital for all businesses, but perhaps more so when you are starting out. At this stage, effective customer care is an opportunity to create a positive buzz about your product, bring you closer to your customers and accelerate product development.
Your company is in its emergent, initial stages. There’s much to be done in merely setting up operations. Capital is limited, people are few and production is not at full capacity, yet. How important is it then to actively invest and action customer service activities, even before there is a substantial customer base?
Pretty important! And here’s why…
There’s no better business teacher than your end user. It is vital for a company to engage in customer service activities during the testing stages of a product or service, rather than 3 or 4 years down the line, due to this reason.
1. Two-way communication with your customer helps you understand your product/service better
There’s no better business teacher than your end user. Before launching a commercial set-up, you may have naturally conducted adequate research on your target audience. What they want, where they want it, how often, why etc. But once your offerings are actually in the market and your customers begin talking to you about them, is when you get the true picture. It is vital for a company to engage in customer service activities during the testing stages of a product or service, rather than 3 or 4 years down the line, due to this reason.
A company that grows with its customers is bound to remain relevant in the long run.
Also read: 4 unconventional ways to measure customer satisfaction
2. Excellent customer service can be a key differentiator when new
Unless your product or service is completely unique with a first-mover advantage, there isn’t much that can differentiate you from the competition. This is especially relevant to e-commerce companies that provide similar products as common vendors.
In such cases, customer service will be one of the few aspects that will give you a distinct benefit over others. In fact, many enterprises build their brands around their superior customer service efforts and achievements.
If positive customer reviews and ‘delight’ are to drive your success, then the sooner you begin customer service activities, the better!
3. Customer service companies offer invaluable metrics and data
Customer service today is not limited to one phone line and an overworked receptionist! Most startups prefer outsourcing their customer care to customer service partners. This is largely due to customer service companies being fully equipped with dedicated teams, omni-channel tools and most importantly, technology that churns out regular metrics and customer data that can be utilised to improve boost the customer base, increase sales, improve and alter product, service or support elements.
Advanced customer service companies’ monitor Net Promoter Scores (NPS), Customer Satisfaction figures (CSAT) and gauge Customer Engagement levels on a constant basis.
4. Talking to customers can guide your future plans
Is your product’s market fit the way you predicted it would be? Is your brand positioning ideal?
A few months of customer service will not only give you insights of your current product or service but will also offer valuable inputs on future variations or development. Many expansion and diversion plans can result out of needs expressed directly by customers.
Sometimes, even the smallest feedback from a customer can spark an idea that can take your product to the next level.
5. Customer service can act as a marketing tool
As a newbie, you may not be able to afford the kind of promotional budget that you desire.
But even with minimal marketing activities such as some social media presence or a solid customer service effort, can boost your marketing, that too at a low cost.
Many outsourcing customer service companies are aware of startup budgets, and hence, offer flexible cost options to their clients. They also help to educate your audiences, keep communication lines open and ensure there is a constant two-way flow of information.
6. Good customer service builds your brand image to attract talent
In the initial phases of setting up a company, one of your primary goals is to build the ideal dream team that sets the ball in motion.
When there are encouraging customer reviews and organic testimonials via social media for the world to see, your brand image starts seeing good days! This of course, helps getting more customers and building the ‘wow’ factor, but another important benefit is that, it can attract potential talent that will drive your company to further heights.
Most employees and recruiters check customer reviews just as other customers do.
Customer service has numerous advantages, especially for startups or companies with a smaller current customer base. Syrow, is a customer services outsourcing firm, with a focus on SMEs and startup enterprises. By adopting a research-led approach, we equip organisations with powerful insights that can transform the way they perceive business challenges in all phases of development. We also offer flexible price options to suit varying budgets. Our teams consist of domain-specific experts who can help young companies develop innovative strategies in order to compete and win in the industry segment that they operate.
Image courtesy: shutterstock.com
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