Customer Service - Fuel for a Booming Business
It used to be that retail and service businesses had only one chance to make a first impression; but in today's electronic age, that chance has three parts to it. Whether a brick and mortar store or telephone or online operation, studies show that within the first 15 seconds of contact, a customer can decide to continue doing business with a company, come back for future business or most importantly, recommend or criticize a service.
That a single negative comment from one dissatisfied customer travels 10 times faster than a positive remark is more than a truism. Customers are turning their backs on businesses that do not deliver value. By the same token, great customer support adds value, a factor that can help eliminate the competition.
Industry experts point out all companies, large and small, must develop quality Customer Service Action Plans built around consumer needs. Such plans should identify ways to:
- Create a service-driven culture throughout the organization
- Employ a common language to describe jobs, duties, customers and employees with common organizational values
- Pay attention to details - little things make a big difference
- Develop strong leadership
- Hire and keep quality employees
- Provide training which supports organizational strategic objectives
- Ensure training objectives will achieve desired performance
- Listen to customers
- Empower employees to serve customers
- Reward and recognize employees for outstanding service
- Demonstrate community support through sponsorship and volunteerism
- Utilize innovative technology to support customer service
- Benchmark company-service standards against the best practices of service leaders and competitors
- Continuously evaluate progress, make adjustments and strive for excellence
Business owners should understand that no one magic bullet
delivers exceptional customer service. Industry leaders
persistently work hard to create good, memorable experiences
that convert ordinary customers into lifetime patrons.
Whether on the phone, face to face or via the Web, a number of common core elements can yield uncommonly exceptional service.