Business owners the world over know that good customer service is vital to keeping their shops open, but during the holiday season it can be easy to get too busy to remember that the customer has to come first.

In a store, it’s simple for a customer to see how busy you are and forgive your curtness if there are a dozen other people demanding your attention, but callers are often less forgiving. This is why it’s extra important that you’re providing great customer service to all your callers, all the time.

Many businesses hire a telephone answering service to help them get through their tough seasons, or even just get through the busiest times of the day. They know that having someone who is dedicated to answering the phone 24×7 means better service for their customers when they call — and how much that matters to their businesses and their clientele.

Good Customer Service is Efficient

As it turns out, good customer service is a great and highly efficient use of your resources. Imagine that you’re trying to make a change to your cable or telephone service and you’re forced to wait a half-hour in a phone queue just to reach the human who can answer your questions. Maybe you wanted to add a channel or a service you were pretty sure you didn’t already have on your subscription.

When you finally reach someone, they tell you that you already have the thing you’re seeking, you just have to hang up and reboot your cable box or phone and it’ll be there. Following those instructions in good faith, you’re disappointed and frustrated when they turn out to be incorrect. So, you queue up again, in hopes of reaching someone else who can help you for real.

This is an all-too-common experience for all sorts of customers. If the first customer service agent had provided great customer service from the get-go, the customer would be happy, the company could have saved money by eliminating any subsequent calls on the same subject and the half hour call queue might have been worthwhile.

Instead, the customer is frustrated because the company seems to not notice that he or she can’t get their problem addressed. They feel like they’re playing a game of chance with customer service agents who either don’t care or who weren’t properly trained to begin with. The customer’s first call was a huge opportunity for the business, but the business let it slip away because it didn’t put customer service first.

Customers Will Spend More for Excellent Service

Although you may think that handing your calls over to a dedicated answering service is an expense you don’t need, your customers definitely feel differently. In fact, according to the American Express 2014 Global Customer Service Barometer, the customers surveyed revealed some very telling things about the impact of service on the buying experience.

Almost three quarters (74 percent) of people surveyed said they had spent more money with businesses who consistently provided an excellent customer service experience. Another two thirds (68 percent) said they were willing to spend an average of 14 percent more with companies that provide superior customer service. In addition, “excellent customer service” was the second most important factor customers said they considered when choosing who to do business with.

Whether you handle calls in house or hire an answering service, customer service matters to callers who are looking to save time or avoid a hassle by calling instead of coming into the store. By giving customers what they want the first time, not only will you encourage your customers to buy more from your company, you’ll save yourself time and money.