Small Business Matters: Customer service comes with a price tag

Customer service comes with a price tag
By Vernalee
OhioMBE – May 15, 2014

Let’s face it!    Beyond price and product, there are unlimited variables that determine what we buy; when and where. With unhesitant certainty, bad customer service will determine where we don’t spend our dollars.  Regardless of the product or service, customer service, be it good or bad, influences our purchasing decisions immensely.  Who wants to make a purchase from a rude, inconsiderate, belligerent grouch?  I have purchased the middle of the line product simply because I liked the personal touches of the highly rendered customer service.  Good service makes me and the average recipient happy!

Let’s consider some of the basic tenets of good customer service:

  • The customers are always right … even if they are wrong.
  • Caring – Show your customers that you care about their concern; empathize.
  • Listen to your customers.  Be transparent.
  • Respond to your customer issues as soon as humanely possible.
  • Be courteous –  at all times.
  • Be kind.  Kindness travels further than evilness or sarcastic comments.
  • Be respectful and patience.  Owning their issue makes the client feel that you care and are concerned.
  • Work to solve their problems.  Taking the issues to the right problem solver speeds up the process and saves time and energies.
  • The bottom line objective is to make and keep the client happy.

Hiring the right staff is essential; particularly those who will have direct involvement with the clients.

That front line (be it in person, via telephone, etc.,) not only determines what, how much, and how frequent one purchases, it may be the main determinant as to whether the customer comes back or never returns.

Companies, beware of who you hire especially for these pivotal positions.  They become a major factor in determining your bottom line.  Unless you have a product or service that no one else offers, your competitors are omnivorously waiting on your mistakes and your lost sales.  Cha Ching!

Don’t pay the cost of losing a customer.  The price tag is too high as they are difficult to reclaim.  Keeping satisfied customers keep your doors opened!

Vernalee is a respected entrepreneur in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. As President of Lee Enterprises Ltd., she helps her clients achieve success in the areas of human resources, supplier diversity, marketing, business development, and communications.  Lee is also a freelance writer for a number of publications.  Her books, “I’m Doing Me” and “Stuff we talk about” will be unveiled May 2014. Follow Vernalee at www.vernalee.com and www.stuffwetalkabout.com.  She can be reached at verna@vernalee.com.

 

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