5 ways customer support affects the bottom line

By Cindy Riquier

Published February 8, 2022
Last updated February 28, 2022

Good customer support is no longer just about resolving post-sales customer complaints or answering technical questions. For most businesses, this is becoming an opportunity to build on the customer relationship, reinforce brand loyalty and secure future ongoing custom.

A customer’s impact on business can be either positive or negative and the best way to steer this is with great customer support teams doing their best work. To read how to do that, click here, but to read why you should do it, stay put. This article looks at the five ways that a great customer support team can have a positive impact on sales.

1. Happy customers are loyal customers that keep spending

What does customer happiness mean? Frequently, it means making a customer feel wanted, appreciated and heard. Ultimately, it makes them want to stay with you rather than ditch you for a competitor. Despite this, many companies prioritise attracting new clients to the detriment of their existing clients. Businesses spend seven times more money attracting a new customer than retaining existing customers. Simply put, it makes more economic sense to try and hold on to the customers you have.

The easiest way to do that is with great customer service. Happy, satisfied customers spend more money, with statistics showing that 75% of customers will spend more with a company that offers a good customer experience. How a company’s customer support teams operate and how they impact the consumer are vital. Using a combination of loyalty programmes, customer rewards and good customer service can have a big impact on retaining and consolidating loyal customers.

2. Unhappy customers drive new customers away

With social media and online reviews, an unhappy customer has the opportunity to leave a negative and long-lasting mark against a business. The enduring statistic that an “unhappy customer tells ten people” actually comes from Coca Cola. In 1980 their internal research confirmed that:

  • Unhappy customers told a median of 9–10 people about their experience.
  • Completely satisfied customers told a median of 4–5 people about theirs.

The mathematics of this are easy to grasp and demonstrate that negative customer experiences can rapidly damage a company's reputation while positive customer experiences have a more measured positive impact. That was 1980, long before the power of the internet and customers’ ability to connect with consumers all around the globe. Now, the same customer can leave a one-star review and a damaging account that could be seen by hundreds of thousands of potential customers. The power and danger of a single negative customer experience cannot be overstated.

3. Customer engagements can lead to insights and innovations

Customer services and customer support (there is a difference, and you can read about it here) work hand in hand to make life easier for your clients. Hopefully, they work alongside a social media team that is also focused on providing excellent customer engagements. All these points of contact are an opportunity for your brand to offer quality services and also to listen. Listening and understanding customer concerns allows a brand to sense how their products and services are being received and if they can make any improvements.

Imagine some customers begin consistently requesting less plastic packaging in their deliveries. Some customers take to Twitter to complain about it and others simply mention it when placing orders. A good customer support team should take note and send this information to the rest of the company. If the company decides to act, the consumers who raised it will feel they have had a positive impact on the company and brand loyalty will be reinforced. When brands actively listen and act upon the words of their customers, that bond of loyalty grows stronger.

4. Good customer support is a feature

How often have you recommended a business, service or product to a friend and mentioned their customer services? For most people, it’s great to hear that the phone network has the best coverage or the most attractive deals. But the deal breaker is how they resolve and deal with customer issues. If we have faith that a company offers a quality product and great customer service, we feel like we are in safe hands.

When a business website is missing phone numbers, email contacts and a live chat feature we often feel that any issues we might encounter will be harder to resolve. The availability of quality customer support that is actively talked about by users is an attractive feature of a company. Consumer trust and confidence is higher when a brand actively shows its willingness to resolve customer issues and also provide a means of two-way communication.

Like with any positive facet of an organisation, good customer support can always be made better. Generally, good customer service can be described as being made up of four key ingredients: speedy resolutions, helpful and interested agents, 24/7 support, and the customers’ ability to use their preferred channel of communication. If you feel you are delivering great customer satisfaction already, why not consider trying to resolve issues faster or open new lines of communication through different channels such as Messenger or WhatsApp?

Constant improvements in speed and convenience will grow customer service into an attractive, positive feature of your brand which can make your company the envy of the whole customer service industry.

5. Follow-up customer services can reveal opportunities for upselling

Finally, the most literal way good customer service can positively impact your bottom line is through upselling. This doesn’t have to be through follow-up sales calls pressuring existing clients into buying more products or services, but simply a follow-up call to determine how happy the client is with their purchase. If the call is handled properly, the customer will feel free to express any other needs that might be fulfilled by your company. This grants your customer service agent the opportunity to make recommendations that can be welcomed.

An agent for a smart home system might be able to recommend their own-brand smart plugs if the customer has enjoyed the experience so far and wants more smart home integration.

A local vet that treated an emergency situation might discover in a follow-up call that the pet has other minor issues that can be resolved, winning further business. A manufacturing company might enjoy their new time management software and see opportunities to use it in their sister company.

Aside from being an opportunity to make further sales, it can also be an opportunity to catch small issues before they become big ones, like when the waiter comes to your table to ask how the food is. If they come too late, the customer becomes dissatisfied with their meal, but arriving after they have had a chance to taste it gives them an opportunity to take the meal back to the kitchen and fix it. The customer enjoys their meal along with everyone else at the table.

Conclusions

All the points described above help make your customer feel important, valued and listened to. They provide your company with opportunities to grow, learn and upsell where appropriate. Happy customers leaving positive reviews and sharing positive accounts help establish a positive reputation that attracts more customers.

Good customer support can have a positive impact on your bottom line. The list of benefits is massive and should encourage you to develop an effective customer support strategy.