The search for new customers is an expensive business. So why not invest your resources into building a lasting and profitable business relationship with your existing customers? The answer lies in delivering an unparalleled level of customer service.
According to a National Federation of Independent Business Study, having good customer service ranked higher in assessing business success than either having a price advantage over your competitors or having a unique and valuable product or service. If you simply sell a quality product at a reasonable price, you are just like 95% of all other businesses out there doing what you do. People don’t buy products or services. They buy solutions to their problems. By adding exceptional customer service to the mix, you now offer a competitive advantage that acts to instill a sense of trust between business and consumer.
In business, you may have come across the phrase, “The customer is king,” or “The customer is always right.” Given the experiences you may have had in the past dealing with those who have unrealistic expectations or requests, outrageous claims, or downright dumb questions, it often becomes a nuisance to cater to the wants and needs of each and every customer. Whether you like it or not, your customers pay your bills.
It’s interesting to note that, based on a Harvard study, an unhappy customer will likely become a repeat customer 80% of the time if you are able to rectify the issues that they have encountered with your product or service. People are far more willing to spend their time and money where they are appreciated and valued.
Developing a customer service strategy for dealing with customers is really a no-brainer. The way that your customer service department manages the queries or complaints of current or prospective consumers has a direct impact on their perception of your business and its growth potential. There are limitless ways that you can deliver a positive customer service experience, but I will go ahead and just jot down a few to get you started.
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- Encourage customer feedback and welcome suggestions whenever possible
- Go the extra mile and fulfill all customer requests within reason
- Don’t ever overpromise something NOT within your means
- Know when and how to apologize
- Send thank you notes and periodic follow up emails
- Conduct after sale and customer service surveys
The necessity of maintaining long term relationships with your customer database is discussed further in a blog entitled, It’s Time to Start Dating Your Customers.
Adopting a consumer centric approach will allow you attract more business while spending less on marketing. Allowing your customers to do the selling for you through referrals will further your word-of-mouth marketing strategy, the “holy grail” of positive brand recognition.
Individuals are far more apt to trust recommendations from people they know rather than from the advertisements of promotions that they see. Implement a service-first culture and mentality throughout your organization so that everyone is aware of the commitment they must make to your customers to ensure that they are valued and respected in all circumstances.
A good salesperson can sell anything to anyone once. Good customer service can bring them back, time and time again.