Global research and advisory firm Gartner in a recently released report said 54% of customers have higher expectations for customer service today compared to one year ago. And 89% of businesses are expected to compete mainly on customer experience. Good customer service today counts for any business’ growth. With holiday season round the corner, business owners need to watch out for areas that lead to customer dissatisfaction and the resulting damage.

Watch the First Impression

The first impression the customer receives is crucial to build retention. Be it a small or a big order, ensure you have systems and staff in place to respond to queries, receive feedback and show that you are a brand that can be trusted. One satisfied customer can do wonders for your business. He or she will be the best advertiser for a stable flow of new customers. In an earlier study, 86% of consumers said that a poor customer service experience had caused them to stop doing business with a company. Perception is everything. So when you address problems in a fair and amicable way, they gain confidence.

Consider Views of Customers

Always consider customers' feedback in a positive light. They should not be looked as minor irritants. Establish a culture for customer care and service. When you fail to address their concerns or provide a platform to express, they go on complaint portals, approach BBB and browse contact directories such as Customer Care Contacts to share their experience. Learn to use customers' complaints and enquiries as opportunities to improve quality of service. Never forget customer care is of paramount importance when it comes to you and the success of your company.

Have Efficient Systems in Place

Replying to an email instantly makes customers and clients feel as though they are important to you. You can set auto responders with a message acknowledging receipt or swift action. Not to forget your website's contact information. Make sure your website's contact page has clear information on the phone, address and email. Unsatisfied customers may try to approach you over phone or email sometimes for queries that are simple and easily resolve. That is where an FAQ section comes handy. Have an FAQ page on your website that is easy to read and understand. Also integrate IT help desks, feedback form, and social media in interacting with customers. Implement customer engagement by connecting through blogs and live chats. Speaking of live chats, it is an excellent way to engage the customers and potential customers. A live chat will help the customer decide on the right product and thus promote customer satisfaction.

Deliver What You Promise

Clients can be disappointed with what you are offering. You can’t always satisfy every customer.

If they are disappointed it is best to accept mistakes, apologize and reassure them. Offer some options to assuage their concern. It can be a replacement or a discount on their next purchase or a gift certificate. As much as you can try to keep to your promises by processing the requests made by your customer. Carve out ways to render good alternatives to them whenever you discover the needed solutions to their problems are not meeting expectations. Another important strategy for keeping your clients loyal is incorporating a client retention program. A customer retention strategy can create a huge advantage. As a business grows, the customer base expands and often companies tend to forget their old customers. It is a competitive business environment and to succeed every business need to think of both retention and growth of its customer base. Retention is as important as customer acquisition.

Customer dissatisfaction undoubtedly leads to dire consequences for a business. Maintaining a high quality of client service plays significant role in generation of sales for any organization. By providing customers reasons to perceive the company in a positive light pays off in ways unimaginable. Today's market is highly competitive and customer service needs to be on top for boosting profitability and long-term success in any niche.

Author's Bio: 

I'm a writer; illustrator, columnist and an editorial fellow. My previous work includes roles in digital journalism and content writer. I did graduation in Journalism.