Customer service can the single most powerful weapon a brand has to create loyalty, evangelism and a positive reputation within their community. Today, every single customer has the power to share their experiences with people that could possibly be future customers.
A customer is increasingly likely to share their experience when it is either really good OR really bad. If you’re doing just enough to help them, without taking the initiative to really send them away floating, that’s fine, but don’t expect them to go sharing their story.
Now what if you’re a free service. You take in no revenues, whatsoever. Should you engage in customer service?
Customer service should ALWAYS be a concern of every business, brand, tool, whatever…whether or not your service is free.
You certainly don’t want users to have a bad customer service experience. For whatever reason, you’re offering your service free of charge, but I’m going to assume you still want it to be successful. You’d like to have a lot of users, and create value for those users, no?
The extent of how much you can commit, or invest money into, is obviously going to be limited if you’re a free service. The last thing you want is for your user’s voices to go unheard, or worst, heard and responded to poorly.
If you do nothing though, you’re not only missing an opportunity to create loyalty and evangelism, but you also risk building a bad reputation within your community, or target audience. Free or not, if you want to be successful, customer service is absolutely necessary.
I know some people disagree with me… If you have any thoughts, agree or disagree, please share…
EDIT: Thanks to Brazen Careerist for featuring my post. I thought it would be a good idea to link to it here because there were a lot of really good comments over there. Check it out.