Customers have questions, which is true no matter what kind of business or establishment you are operating. Of course, when people spend money at any business, they want to know that they are getting the best possible products and services, the biggest bang for their buck.
A service such as Responsely is a great way to determine what people think about your business and find ways to respond to inquiries appropriately and promptly.
Merely responding to customers is not enough. The proper and swift handling of questions can be the difference between success and failure. Let’s talk about why this is so.
Lost Business vs. Repeat Customers
The fact is that the proper handling of customer inquiries and complaints is directly proportional to customer retention. Up to 68% of customers will leave and take their business elsewhere if they feel they have been mistreated by the employees and/or customer service reps.
Imagine losing about two-thirds of your customers because of poor, rude, or incompetent customer service.
Suppose customer inquiries and complaints aren’t correctly handled. In that case, those people will take their business elsewhere, which means lost money for you and more money for the competition to improve their own products and services.
Remember, bad customer service doesn’t just take money out of your own pocket but also puts it into your competition’s pockets.
Reviews and Word of Mouth
Dealing with customer inquiries appropriately is crucial if you consider that your customer’s experience may wind up online for everyone to read about. Good for your business if their experience was good … not so good if the experience was negative.
This is the age where everybody generates reviews about everything, whether on dedicated review sites, social media, or just through word of mouth. People talk, and talk makes a big difference.
A few bad reviews can spell disaster for a business, whereas a few positive reviews can result in new customer acquisitions and loyal repeat customers. People who feel confident that customer service is up to par are much more likely to try a company’s products and/or services.
Speed of Response Matters Too
Handling customer inquiries is not just about how you handle them, but also the speed at which you do. If a customer has a question about something they want to buy now, they don’t want to wait for days or even weeks for a response.
If you take too long to respond to inquiries, those potential buyers will have lost interest in your services or products and taken their business elsewhere.
You Get Valuable Info and Feedback
One of the biggest reasons why properly handling customer inquiries is essential is because those questions can provide valuable feedback about your business and its operation.
For instance, if customers repeatedly ask the same type of question about the same topic, it’s a good indication that the current amount or clarity of the information you provide is insufficient.
If you’re running a web hosting business, and people keep asking if you offer a specific type of web hosting, it’s a sign that you need to do a better job at explaining the exact services you offer in the first place.
This applies to products as well. If you are selling any type of product, and customers keep asking the same questions about it, your product descriptions might not be good enough, or that there are some faults with the products.
Listening to inquiries will help you understand your business, services, and products from the customer’s viewpoint. If people repeatedly ask the same questions, it’s a sign that the information you provide is not clear enough and could use some clarification and/or expansion.
Inquiries Can Help Provide You Get a Leg Up on the Competition
Another reason why the proper handling of customer inquiries is essential is that it can provide you with a competitive advantage over your competition.
For example, you are running a heating and air conditioning business and have customers asking about a new type of home heating apparatus that most industry players don’t yet provide. It could be a sign that you need to expand your business and invest in new tech or product offerings.
Sometimes business success results from having something new that others don’t offer, something that customers can only find at your business.
If customers keep asking you about a product or service that you don’t offer at this time, it’s a strong indication you should consider offering that specific service or product. This way, you have something to provide clients with that no one else has. This makes you seem innovative and at the forefront of your industry.
If you handle customer inquiries properly understanding the questions, letting customers know that you are listening, and doing your best to actively provide answers and solutions you will see more customer acquisitions, repeat customers, and a better image for your business.