Customer Service Should Always Be A Priority
Regardless of what area or field you specialise in, without customers, you might as well not be in business. As today’s business world is ultra-competitive, your ability to offer excellent customer service is more critical than ever. If you fail to understand that, then the reality is you fail to understand the basics of owning and operating a business in the first place.
Think how you want to be treated when you buy something or purchase a service. Now think back to the last time you received poor customer service. There is quite a difference between the two, and I find it hard to imagine that some people are not able to distinguish between the two and offer such an essential service to those who put them into business in the first place.
“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realise it themselves.”
– Steve Jobs
Why is customer service so important?
Social media allows news – good or bad – to travel fast. So, if something does go wrong, it’s not just one person who knows about it. In a matter of minutes, they can post something negative about your company. Their friends will see it and share it and within a matter of a few more minutes, that post can be seen by hundreds if not thousands of people depending on how quickly it spreads across the internet. That can be devastating, particularly for a small business who relies on word of mouth for their marketing.
When all is said and done, it is actually cheaper and more effective to market to past customers than it is to gain new ones. From an accounting point of view, it just doesn’t make sense to offer poor customer service and then spend the money on marketing to entirely new customers. It is akin to shooting yourself in the foot. But this does happen with many businesses – they are open to taking money and just cannot be bothered to offer quality service. Therefore their percentage of repeat customers is extremely low.
“Setting customer expectations at a level that is aligned with consistently deliverable levels of customer service requires that your whole staff, from product development to marketing, works in harmony with your brand image.”
– Richard Branson
Imagine that word of mouth is not working for you. How much business would you lose out on? Word of mouth is essentially free marketing! Why wouldn’t a company want to capitalise on such a wonderful thing as this? Many companies survive on word of mouth alone and barely even have to market their services or skills to gain new business. This is a great position to be in, particularly for those who have a low marketing budget. You can focus your marketing dollars on bringing in the new customers in a concentrated and specific way while nurturing your current and past clients behind the scenes. It just makes total business sense!
What would your staff think?
Now, look at the whole customer service aspect from the point of view of your staff. Would they prefer to work for a company that they know to offer excellent customer service or do you believe it makes no difference. Would they be happy if they had to continually talk to your customers about the lack of customer service that your company offers? Chances are they would not be too impressed at all and the standard of caliber of your staff would dramatically decline.
Not only that, companies like that are so draining to work for. You would lose motivation really quickly if every second telephone call were a complaint. Having a good reputation shows that not only will you go out of your way to treat your customers well, but you will have respect for those who work within the company. Your staff will be more than happy to let people know they work at your business, and that it itself is great marketing.