We ended last week’s article saying that no matter how good your marketing campaign seems whether on social media or in mainstream media, unless you provide good service and value for money there will be no improvement in your bank account balances.
Customer service is the service provided to customers before, during and after purchasing goods or using services. No matter the size of your business, excellent customer service needs be at the heart of your business model if you wish to be successful. It is important to provide good customer service to all customers, including potential, new and existing customers.
How you treat your customers can make the difference between a loyal returning customer and a dissatisfied customer who, through word-of-mouth, may become a negative influence by telling others about their poor experience and will rarely use your services again.
Satisfied customers may, through conversations become voluntary marketing agents for your organisation and are likely to be repeat customers as people who have a positive experience with a company will likely tell 2 or 3 others about their experience. Contrarily, a person who has a bad experience will likely tell between 9 and 20 persons.
Good customer service provides an experience that meets customer expectations by developing bonds with customers that lead to long term relationships and repeat business. Bad customer service can result in lost sales because consumers might take their business to a competitor.
Customer service is also important to an organization as it can help differentiate a company from its competitors. For example, it may be difficult to tell the difference between two small drug stores, especially if their prices are similar. Therefore, putting extra effort into customer service may be thing that gives one drug store its competitive advantage.
A company with excellent customer service is more likely to get repeat business from customers. Consequently, the company will benefit with greater sales and profits. Contrarily, companies with poor customer service may lose customers, which will have a negative impact on business. It costs a lot more money for a company to acquire a customer than to retain them, due to advertising costs etc. Therefore, the efforts that go into maintaining quality customer service can really pay dividends over time.
The key to good customer service is to treat the customer as you would wish to be treated if the tables were turned. Everybody is different and customers will have different reasons for choosing your company. By understanding the needs of your customers you can achieve a higher level of customer satisfaction, repeat business and smile all the way to the bank!
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