Thanks to technology, our world moves faster than ever, and so does information. Where customer service once meant talking face-to-face with someone, it now tends to take the form of emails, online reviews, and anonymous (and sometimes false) complaints. What are the new rules for managing customer service in a digital economy? What do all these changes mean for small businesses?
The Deterioration of Market Share
This proliferation of competition and choices can be problematic to businesses and cause market share to deteriorate. Eventually, there will be winners that take the majority of the market share and losers that either scrape by or shut down unless they choose to innovate or differentiate.
Above image courtesy freshworks
With the growth of online tutorials, many educational services are being commoditized. Unfortunately, this can create a race to the bottom as companies with nearly identical products compete by lowering prices. However, lowering prices does not have to be the only way to differentiate a product and win market share. Instead of competing on price, another option is to focus on the customer experience.
Providing an Amazing Customer Experience
In our industry, many companies can do what we do, but at The Studio Director, we differentiate by alleviating pain points that our competitors ignore. Here’s what we do at The Studio Director and how you can bring this model to your business.
Purpose before profits
At The Studio Director, we believe in purpose before profits. This is our guiding light and the core value we make all decisions off of. Our purpose is to help our employees and customers realize their full potential. We treat our employees as invaluable resources vital to our success because they are. That positive attitude and appreciation flow to our customers through amazing customer service.
So while our competitors focus on increasing their profits and getting the most out of their teams and customers, we are putting customers first and asking ourselves how to better serve and eliminate pain points.
Many companies provide hasty tutorials, require their customers to figure out how to work with a company independently, and don’t offer in-person or on-demand assistance. This can potentially start the relationship off on the wrong foot and cause ripple effects down the road. Therefore, we go above and beyond by helping our customers with the onboarding process and recommend studio owners do this as well.
Helping make customers’ lives easier takes more time upfront. However, the long-term impact is higher retention and customer satisfaction. Additionally, when you go above and beyond for your customers, they’ll often go above and beyond for you by referring their family and friends to your studio.
Above image courtesy Medallia
In the digital world, many companies are automating more and more. While we love to leverage innovative technology and help you do the same in your business, we also stress the importance of providing excellent customer service from actual human beings.
For example, at The Studio Director, we do not outsource to other countries or make it difficult to reach us. Our customers can even call us on the phone and talk to an actual person if they don’t want to go through the online chat. We’ve found our customers enjoy having a human connection with our company, and it increases trust and likability.
To stay relevant in a digital world, we recommend that as a studio owner, you leverage online tools to your highest ability but maintain the human side of your customer service, as it can be a key differentiator for your business.
Dealing with issues
Have you ever had a problem with a company but could not find a fast and easy way to contact them? At The Studio Director, we are available to our customers to alleviate their stress and help them save time when they need it. To have the best customer service in our modern world, it’s important that you also understand this pain point and provide easy ways for your customers to have access to you when they need to resolve an issue.
By having a people before profits core philosophy, we can create a culture of happy employees, which directly correlates to happy customers. Next, proving to our customers that we are there with them has enabled us to maintain high customer retention levels. It has also helped with our marketing as we can find new customers dissatisfied with their experiences with other companies.
Ultimately, this strategy has helped us see the financial results we’re looking for, and we believe this model is a great tool if you’re also looking to differentiate your business.