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Running a business was never an easy task, however, it has become even more difficult in current times due to many different factors. These factors range from immense saturation in the market, too many competitors resulting in cut-throat competition, lower product quality, high inflation, the reduced buying power of average consumers, customer awareness, and too many options. These are some of the things that have made doing any business a tough cookie to crack.
Today if any business wants to thrive, they have to churn out that x-factor by doing something different and unconventional which their competitors aren’t offering. And this uniqueness shouldn’t be in product or pricing because that’s too easy to replicate. It should be values and customer treatment, something which not everyone can replicate or steal.
In simple words better customer service and providing a pleasant consumer experience to users. This can be the only unique thing that can ensure a business’s survival in the long run. And if there’s nothing unique that a business can offer to its customers then that business will also be swept out in the tide of mediocrity, and will be buried with countless others like it in the pit of averageness.
Though through this tactic a business may survive for a couple of years but ultimately dies down to a slow painful death. Stats also point to this same trend that almost 50 percent of new small-scale businesses shut down within two years of operations, and another 30 percent shut down in subsequent 5 years. That’s because all the attention goes into the product or service and not the actual customer who is going to use that thing.
Doing business was already quite tough but now we have the pandemic at our hand which has made this an even more difficult thing to conduct. During the pandemic, many small businesses closed, huge firms were forced to layover their employees due to budget cuts, while the businesses that survived were struggling hard to make ends meet and were just barely afloat. This was due to the rising inflation and economic recession which the whole world faced during the pandemic due to the subsequent lockdown protocols and closure of every business activity.
Plus on the other hand, an average buyer was also drastically affected by this surge of unemployment and rising inflation which made them rethink where to spend their hard-earned money because it was already difficult to come by. This made them aware and more mature regarding their choices.
The Shift in Consumer Behavior Post Pandemic
A consumer became vigilant with every penny spent during the pandemic because there were already limited funds and income streams were dry. Many were living on governmental grants and financial assistance as they had lost their jobs and were facing a medical and economical threat at the same time. This made buyers extensively research about a brand or company before doing any kind of transaction with them, and the make or break thing in this whole scenario proved to be customer service.
Customer Service was the only thing that compelled people to give positive reviews about the company which in turn encouraged more buyers to buy a product from that company by seeing those positive reviews. This is what we saw happen with Cox communications a cable company that did record business only because Cox customer service was exceptional at handling their customer’s queries and issues efficiently.
So a business that ran on a methodology like Cox and had a proper customer service department that knew how to handle their existing customers thrived, while businesses that ignored their current customers in favor of new ones lost both and faltered in the end. That is why the importance of customer service has ever so increased during the pandemic.
Why Good Customer Service is Necessary Today?
We have already discussed the importance of customer service and how consumer behaviors have changed during the pandemic. Now we will look in detail that why businesses need good customer service and what factors can pose a serious risk if a good customer experience is not provided.
Too Many Options in Market
This is the thing that we talked about at the start as well and have been emphasizing all through this article. Today the saturation is too much and average consumers have too many options to choose from. The world is healing from the pandemic and in the aftermath, businesses are desperate for customers to come back so much so that there are more products, services, and brands than there are customers.
Every brand is trying its best to acquire new customers by using different tactics like discounts, price offers, and special perks and privileges. That is why in order to retain your customer you have to provide exceptional customer service and carefully tread the path of customer experience because one wrong move and your customer has switched to the other side
Post pandemic businesses are resurging and trying to make profits, and obviously, the end goal of every business is to make money. The problem, in this case, is that most businesses can’t afford to spend on things like marketing and customer acquisition because to put it simply they don’t have the funds to do so. In order to generate a steady income stream again, every business needs to stick with their current customer base and make sure they are happy and satisfied with the services because as long as they will stick with a business the CLTV or customer lifetime value will increase giving more benefits to the business.
Plus an existing customer is more open to upsell options and can also act as a free marketing tool with positive word mouth thus not only giving increased revenue to the customer but also saving cost on other things like marketing. And we already know that retaining a customer is two to three times less expensive than acquiring a new one. So companies should focus on providing good customer service in order to ensure customer retention which in turn brings more revenue and reduce expense.
Positive Brand Image
Image is everything for a business today. As we discussed earlier every customer now researches a brand before doing any business this is the trend of the post-pandemic customer. And the positive image of a brand is established by a loyal customer base who sticks with a company through every thick or thin and propagates a positive image of that company in the market through their positive word of mouth. These positive reviews and word of mouth become the best and most effective way of organic marketing that draws more customers towards a brand who are searching regarding their services. And in order to ensure a loyal customer base, good customer service is a must whose ultimate goal should be customer retention and satisfaction.
A customer has become increasingly aware after the pandemic. This made them think twice before doing any business with any firm. So in order to retain current customers and prevent them from switching while drawing in new customers as well, a good customer service policy is a must without which the survival of any business, in the long run, will be in jeopardy.
Hello, My name is Shari & I am a writer for the ‘Outlook AppIns’ blog. I’m a CSIT graduate & I’ve been working in the IT industry for 3 years.