If actions speak louder than words, then it’s no surprise that customer service is playing a larger and larger role in peoples’ buying decisions. Today’s marketplace is packed with redundant products and services, so we turn to big-picture differentiators, like brand reputation and buying experience, to help us make purchasing decisions. This is also part of why we talk to our friends and networks about their experiences with a brand or product, and share our own experiences, as well.
Before the Internet, though, we’d tell a few friends about our fantastic or horrible experience with a brand, and they’d tell a few people, and eventually it would fizzle out, probably not having reached more than 20 people by the time the conversation died. But now, if we have a great (or equally bad) experience, we can share that experience in a blog post, a blog comment, a tweet, a video, a Facebook status update, and on and on, and that commentary could potentially be seen and shared by hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people.
That kind of mass exposure has a definitive impact on brand reputation and, ultimately, sales.
Now that your customers can have such a huge voice in the marketplace, it stands to reason that they need to be handled with a bit more care than the traditional customer service model allows. In the best case, that fantastic care you give will make your customers champions for your brand.