You might think you know what customer service is. However, contrary to what you are probably thinking, customer service isn’t just about helping people to learn how to use a product or service or overcome an unforeseen problem with it. Customer service can have much broader implications than what this to-the-point definition might suggest. By taking account of these implications, you could fuel greater success for your entire business – and here are several reasons why.

Good customer service can attract more customers

According to what the 2014 Global Service Barometer implies, “excellent customer service” is, after “good value for price”, the second most important factor influencing what companies customers choose. Thus, what information they receive about a company’s customer service department can affect whether they choose to buy from that company. Helparo says where this information comes from: “other people who interacted with the company” and “forums and the social media profiles of the company”.

High-quality customer service can even lead customers to spend more

The same study also revealed 74% of survey respondents to have reported spending more money due to having received excellent customer support. How much more? 14% on average. You might struggle to even begin imagining how much more business you could garner from your customer base if you improved your customer service. This could not only increase the number of people in that base but also encourage each of those people to spend more money than they typically would.

Every employee should occasionally work in customer service

Were you aware of Amazon’s policy that, every couple of years, employees must join the customer service department for two days? Even high-ranking workers, like the CEO, are not exempt from this rule. This little rule helps Amazon employees to understand how customer support works and see how vital it is to the company. You could benefit from putting a similar system in place at your own business, regardless of its size and success in comparison to Amazon’s.

Even “silly” customers should be treated with respect

In a short but intriguing piece for TNW, journalist Matthew Hughes recalled once writing a letter to then Apple CEO Steve Jobs in an attempt to get a MacBook fixed without asking his parents for financial help. He noted that, while the letter’s wording made it “plainly clear … I was an irritating, idiot teen”, he received a polite and formal letter in response from an Apple employee, albeit not Jobs himself. Hughes said that he has since always admired Apple’s “customer-centric” approach.

Customer service people can also be salespeople

You might fret that, by giving your customer service staff “sales training”, you could blight their reputations by portraying them as “sellers”. However, your company could genuinely benefit from customer service personnel who, while delivering great customer service, also know how to encourage more sales of your products or services. You can help them learn this by putting them through sales and customer service training that employees of our own firm can provide in-house.