Poor customer service is costly: many customers stop doing business with a company if they have a single poor experience. Bad customer service costs businesses more than $41 billion a year, according to Bain & Company. And when companies have to attract new customers to make up for lost business, it costs them 5x more than it does to keep an existing customer.
What’s even more concerning is that more than half of customers are willing to try a new company just to see whether they’ll have a better experience, even if they haven’t had a bad experience, according to CSO Insights.
Many industrial and life sciences companies don’t realize the gulf between how they believe they’re delivering customer service and how actual customers perceive their service. This reality “un-check” often occurs because there’s a lack of alignment between sales, marketing and customer service, meaning customers don’t have a consistently positive experience in every channel.
Organizations that improve their alignment between these teams, and train each in how to become more customer-centric, see marked improvements in their customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores and, with them, the 4 R’s: reputation, repeat business, referrals and revenue.
Why Customer Service Best Practices Matter in Industry and Life Sciences
Customer service providers have 10x more interactions with customers than sellers. Given their responsibility for fixing problems, there is great potential for customers to see service reps as trusted advisors. Customers share information with a service rep that they may never tell to a salesperson, and so service reps must recognize the importance of growing the customer relationship and relay the message to the seller. This communication goes both ways: service teams share insights about their organization’s products or services informally with customers, subtly yet effectively building the power of your brand. When service teams offer customers excellent support, it makes customers feel valued, enabling them to share more. And, as customers share more, service teams can relate client needs and wants back to sales, ultimately leading to greater conversion rates for renewals and upsells.
For example, if your company has technicians in the field, they should do more than just fix problems, they should ask questions and ensure the customer is satisfied too. If they’re not serving as your company’s eyes and ears, gathering information that helps you strengthen customer relationships, you’re missing a golden opportunity to collect valuable customer intelligence that can lead to more sales.
When these frontline service providers have the skills to deliver on your brand promise and are aligned with your sales and marketing team, your organization is poised to make service delivery a competitive differentiator.
Service Ready Improves Customer Experience Metrics for Industrial and Life Sciences Organizations
Miller Heiman Group’s Service Ready offerings help field service technicians, customer service associates, call center agents, tech support engineers, accounts receivable teams, internal-facing service teams like human resources and more build their set of soft skills, leading to better customer relationships and higher revenue. The skills that service personnel learn in these courses include how to build customer loyalty, master conversation essentials, strengthen customer connections, expand existing customer relationships, explore digital communications and navigate challenging situations.
Industrial organizations that enrolled in these courses saw remarkable increases in their customer experience metrics. They had a 22% increase in customer satisfaction, their customer promoters increased from 47% to 64%—and their neutral customer ratings dropped from 28% to 18%.
Life sciences organizations enrolled in Service Ready have also reported staggering results. After completing Service Ready, one organization with a field service team improved its customer satisfaction score by 151%, from 18.4% to 47.3%, ranking it the seventh most-improved service department worldwide.
Ready to Improve Your Customer Experience Strategy?
Ready to teach your customer-facing teams how to build deeper connections with customers? Contact us to discuss which of our Service Ready courses is right for you: