The importance of customer service in business banking

Customer service is a key differentiator in business banking and many other sectors. When there are minimal differences among product offerings and product costs, customers look to the level of service businesses offer as a means of deciding between competitors. If you want to deepen your connection with customers, exceptional customer service helps develop trust, which is the cornerstone of any brand relationship. Let’s explore the key components of customer service and how it offers a competitive advantage in business banking.

3 key components of great customer service

When it comes to business banking, great customer service can set you apart from competitors. There are three key pillars of great customer service that can help foster a sense of trust with your base, letting them know they can rely on you when they need it most.

1. Industry-specific knowledge

Customers may reach out when they have questions or need information about a particular product or more general information related to your industry. One essential component of great customer service—for banks and all businesses—is knowledge. Providing your customers with accurate and useful information can help them make the best possible decision for their businesses and makes the customer service experience more efficient and satisfying.

With this in mind, your digital services options should be easy to access and offer clear and current information. Your customer service teams should be prepared to provide a range of information, from the details of different accounts and investment products to the operation of online tools and services.

2. Knowing someone is there

Customers expect support exactly when and where they experience challenges. They need to know someone is there for them who has the information they need and can communicate it efficiently. Providing 24/7 customer support—like Capital One does for credit card and merchant services customers—takes care of the timing. But customers also want to know someone is available through their preferred channel of communication, whether that’s email, text or phone. Great customer service is everywhere customers are, all the time.

3. Effective and empathetic communication

Customers who reach out for support want more than just answers to their questions. They want to feel heard and understood. They are seeking more than a solution to a problem; they want a personal connection with your brand. When a question or problem arises, it’s the human touch of empathy that can set your business apart from the competition.

Today, customers expect businesses to understand their needs and exceed their expectations. It is up to your brand’s customer service team to show they care by listening carefully, validating the feelings of a customer and providing them with accurate information when they need it most.

Why invest in customer service?

When done correctly, customer service can provide a competitive advantage by demonstrating an understanding of the customer’s circumstances. Exceptional customer service also serves the function of cross-selling and upselling additional products and services. When customer service fails, you can lose customers, along with any referral business they might bring. Here are three important reasons to invest in customer service:

1. Turn customers into advocates

It is not uncommon for customers to appreciate quality customer service experiences as much as the products and services they purchase. They’re also much more willing to share the good news. According to Salesforce, approximately 72% of customers tell friends and colleagues about their positive experiences with a business. On the other hand, bad customer service can reduce loyalty nearly as quickly. A poll conducted by Business Wire indicated that 68% of customers will be less loyal to a brand over a single negative experience.

2. Introduce existing customers to new products

Positive customer service experiences build trust—a key element in any business relationship. According to HubSpot, 67% of customers are willing to pay more for products and services when they are delighted by the interaction. That means that quality customer service opens opportunities for introducing and cross-selling products and services to your business clients, which can enhance your bottom line.

3. It’s what customers want

Technology is important in the banking industry and has revolutionized services around money transfers, investment management and more. But when business customers have problems—like lost credit cards, transaction disputes or account questions—they expect to reach a person who can help them. Today’s business banking customers want automated and human service options. Investing in digital customer support and training customer service agents to provide empathetic and expert service gives customers the options they want and the service they will appreciate. Give them what they want, and they’ll have a positive story to tell.

How Capital One helps build your business

Capital One is committed to continually improving the customer service experience by listening to customers, providing what they need and exceeding expectations. For more help building your business, visit the Capital One Business Hub where you’ll find a wealth of inspirational resources curated to help small business owners.

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