In business everybody serves somebody, but it is how you serve them which matters most. One of the definitions of the word serve is ‘to be of assistance, to help’ and while most want to help, it might depend on your mood, if you like the person or if you feel it will advance your cause in some way! Everything you do for – or to – the customer is part of the experience they buy and part of how you differentiate your organisation.
If you draw on your own experiences of good and bad customer service, it will help you to understand what it is like to be on the receiving end. Think of one occasion in the last six months when you have received excellent customer service and one occasion when the service was terrible. This may have occurred in the same organisation – service in a branch or retail outlet versus service via the call centre! Try to remember what happened, what was said, the tone of voice used and the good or bad actions that were carried out. If it helps, jot them down and then ask yourself if any of your customers could have had these experiences when dealing with your company. This simple exercise allows you to adapt the lessons you learned through your own experience to the service you provide in your own organisation.
Did you know that 68% of customers are lost because of bad service?
And if that’s not enough, research shows that out of 25 dissatisfied customers:
- 1 complains
- 24 are dissatisfied but don’t complain
- 6 of the 24 have ‘serious’ problems
- The 24 tell between 10 and 20 other people about their bad experience!
Putting Your Customers First
Good customer service is not just a simple campaign – it’s about:
- The quality of what you deliver and
- The quality of how you deliver it.
But remember quality isn’t about goodness, it’s about meeting and exceeding customer needs and expectations, as follows:
- Treat customers with respect. Think of them as people the company could help with its products and services, rather than just ‘people to be sold to’.
- Learn what each customer needs and help to find products or services to satisfy those needs.
- Be supportive and offer help after the sale. Do not reject any request for help once the transaction is complete.
- Make customers happy with what they buy and how they are sold it. Make them want to return; develop lifetime relationships with customers and do not just try to make a quick sale.
Remember, in today’s competitive market no business can survive without satisfied customers and without customers you have no business! The service they get and their overall experience, must at all times inspire confidence, trust and show attention to their needs.
“Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create raving fans.” ~ Ken Blanchard
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