Customer Service Is King
“The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary” (Sam Walton, founder of Walmart)
In an increasingly competitive environment, keeping your customer base is a given for business survival. We also live in a world of increasing self-absorption – witness the “selfie” phenomenon – so giving good customer service becomes crucial.
Good service or bad – how word spreads
Research shows that customers who experience poor customer service tell between nine to ten other people of this experience. Conversely, when they experience good customer service they tell five people. This is magnified in the age of social media.
So how do you ensure good customer service?
- Understand your business so they have insight into complaints.A
- Communicate with the customer. If solving the problem takes time, go back to the customer frequently so they feel you are taking their complaint seriously and are dealing with it.
- Have listening skills so they can grasp what they are being told. It is frustrating to feel that you have not been understood.
- Have empathy, understand the customer’s mindset (is he or she angry for example). Remember a self-absorbed person wants to feel that you take their complaint seriously and they want to feel they are dealing with a person and not a computer.
- Be persistent so that the customer’s problem is resolved.
Customer retention v customer acquisition
This may seem like a large undertaking but it is worth it. Businesses with good customer service stay close to their clients, learn from their interaction with them and ultimately improve the organisation.
It costs 5 times more to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing ones – so invest in keeping the customers you already have.
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