Ask anyone in your family or your close circle of friends this question, “When have you received the best customer service?” They will tap their chin and think about it.
Then, they will regale a story about a hotel that helped them get checked in early. Maybe an online company didn’t charge them for something due to an issue with shipping. Or perhaps an airline saved the day and held the flight, etc.
Next, ask them this, “Would you go back?” It seems like a facetious question, but they will explain their deep loyalty to a company and talk about how they continually use the business and service.
On the other side of that coin is this question, “When have you received terrible customer service?” The answer about that company will be venomous.
Your friends and family will explain how a company wronged them, kept them on hold and couldn’t answer their questions. And when you ask if they’ve ever gone back, they will explain the “burn notice” they put on that company.
“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it”Benjamin Franklin
When you listen to both answers, the one that provided terrible customer service is what you want to avoid. Sure, people evangelize great customer service, but they will let anyone who has ears know about the terrible customer service they were given.
Companies live and die by their customer service and you want to be a company that people brag about because of how well you’ve done.
Systems for customer service
A sound service strategy deals with the before, during and after phases of your product delivery and includes mindfully creating and documenting systems for everyone on the team to follow.
These systems include:
- Easily contacting your company
- Quickly responding to incoming inquiries
- Providing information
- Clarifying questions/expectations
- Quoting prices
- Easily buying your product/service
- Product distribution
- Product use
- Maintenance or support
- Monitoring and evaluating service
- Continuous improvement
Incorporating team feedback
The biggest factor perhaps of all is your team’s attitude towards your customers. If that is off, then maybe it’s time to re-group and go back to your vision, values and promise and see if you can get everyone back on the same team.
I’d be super curious about what your team was thinking. Your front-line team may provide more insight than you are prepared to hear, listen anyway. Your customers are counting on it!
What is your company’s customer service like?
In what ways will you strengthen your customer service? What can you adjust to achieve optimal results?
Until next time, enjoy your Entrepreneurial Journey!
Provide fantastic customer service with the right team!
“The biggest trap small business owners fall into is waiting too long to hire and then having to find someone at the last minute when they are desperate.”
This trap along with the other 9 Hiring Mistakes are described in the Top 10 Hiring Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them) written specifically for small business owners.