Welcome to the Outpost Blog!

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Meet our customer advocacy team—they’re our in-house customer service experts.

If Outpost is mission control for all your incoming email, the Outpost blog is the co-pilot by your side ensuring a smooth flight.

Mastering email is really about good communication with your customers—being able to trust your team to deliver the right message on time so nothing slips through the cracks—especially if you don’t have a dedicated customer service department.

When you read our blog, you can expect tested advice from our customer advocacy team (they’re the best you’ll find and we have the data to prove it) and other experts who understand the challenges that growing businesses face every day.

Managing email isn’t a problem that exists in a vacuum. Meaning, the way you handle email is actually part of the fabric of your company’s culture. The way you communicate with your team and with your customers can have a real impact on your bottom line and even your long-term viability.

Want to jump ahead to our infographic on why good customer service matters? Click here.

Why does good communication matter?

1. Customers will pay more for better service

86 percent of consumers will pay more for a better experience. If you’re not thinking about how you’re communicating with your customers, formally and informally, you’re leaving money on the table. And not just a little—customers who have great experiences spend 140 percent more than those who say they have had poor customer service.

2. If you don’t deliver a great experience, your customers won’t think twice about leaving

89 percent of customers have left and gone to a competitor after a poor interaction. Remember, great experience often has to do with what you say (or what you don’t say), or how long it took you to respond.

Sometimes things go wrong. The food left the kitchen cold. A guest’s room wasn’t clean when they arrived for their first visit. A new supporter wanted to make a donation last week, but their email got lost. But that doesn’t have to be the end of the story. What you do next can be the difference between a lost opportunity, and the beginning of a long and loyal relationship.

It costs more to acquire new customers—so doing what you can to keep the ones you have makes sense. Increasing the lifetime value of a customer is really about increasing the likelihood of loyalty, and there’s a lot you can do increase your customers’ positive feelings about your business.

3. Customers are more likely than ever to share their experiences, good and bad

The average person tells approximately nine people about their positive experiences with companies, but they’ll tell almost twice as many (16) about a bad experience. That’s not counting online reviews—and 88 percent of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Everyone remembers customer service horror stories—just think about the airlines who have been in the news recently after overselling flights. Airlines oversell flights all the time, but the airline’s next words and actions are what made the news.

But beyond best practices and innovations in building positive relationships with your customers, the foundation for great customer experiences is good leadership—making sure that anyone who works with you has the tools and skills to represent your business well.

Why does leadership matter?

It’s hard to hire the right people, and even when you have them on board, lots of organizations struggle with figuring out how to create systems that make it easy for everyone on the team to be both proactive and consistent.

At Outpost, we believe that amazing customer service is within everyone’s reach—our customer advocacy team proves it every day. It starts with good training and empowering your team to solve problems independently.

Everyone knows what it feels like to be passed to a half a dozen people before you get a clear answer on your question about your wireless bill. Not good.

Leaders have a lot on their plates, and being able to delegate to team members, confident that they will put the company’s best foot forward—that’s critical.

“We’re very careful to pick just the right team members,” says Sean Serrels, our head of customer advocacy. “We spend the most time trying to find people that have good empathy and customer relation skills during the hiring process—those are skills that are tough to teach.”

For growing businesses without a dedicated customer service department, figuring out how to train and empower your team to be ambassadors for your brand and stewards of your relationships with your customers—it’s a tall order.

So, stay tuned to the Outpost blog for more insights from Sean and other experts who have cracked the code. And the Outpost team inbox is coming soon. Sign up to request early access to our beta version to try it out for yourself.

Be sure to reach out if you have questions! Find us on Twitter @OutpostTeam or chat with us using the “start a chat” button above.

Why good customer service matters

 

If you liked our infographic, feel free to share the link, view it on SlideShare, or embed it on your own site with the code below.

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Posted in Email

Kateri Kosta

Kateri Kosta

Kateri is the managing editor of Bplans, the LivePlan blog, and the Outpost blog. She is fascinated by the intersection of words (and the humans that use them) and tech and startup culture.
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