Have you ever gone to the supermarket to buy something only to be faced with a wall of various versions of that something? Do you stick with the brand you know when a different brand is on special? What if this other one is better and you’ve been missing out this whole time?
The internet has made this situation the case for literally every product ever. No matter what you want you can easily research different brands, compare costs and read reviews to make a decision. According to Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 58 percent of Americans perform online research about the brand, products, and services that they are considering purchasing.
Whilst this is certainly a good thing for the consumer it doesn’t do much for brand loyalty. This fickle customer base can cause a dip in customer service. The revolving door that is the client turns things into a numbers game making businesses less personable. Interestingly enough, people still value good service, even over a better price. The Touch Agency ran a survey in the US which showed that 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. This makes the use of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system vitally important. The improvement of customer service and satisfaction will lead to retention as well as increased sales. Salesforce.com reports a rise in sales of up to 29 percent and sales productivity by up to 34 percent thanks to the use of a CRM system.
“Always keep in mind the old retail adage: Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price.”
– Lauren Freedman, President of the E-tailing Group
Sure, it’s hard investing time into a customer relationship knowing that they could easily jump ship at any second. The Capterra CRM Industry User Research Report claims that almost half of users say their CRM had a significant impact on customer retention. It also says that the return on investment for every dollar spent on a relationship management system is $8.71, through increased sales or repeat business.
Times change, technology both connects and disconnects us more than ever. It can be hard for businesses to keep up. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, a company that is consistently voted a leader in excellent customer service, sums it up with a very simple idea. ‘Build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.’ Everyone deals in customer service in some form. Treating those customers as individuals, and people, is simply good business.