Well, we’re probably a little tired of hearing the term “Customer Service’’.
Whether is the local fast food restaurant of the latest big box store, we are inundated with the term. But what does it really mean, and as a business owner, what do you need to take away from this discussion?
Let me address the issue from the perspective of what Customer Service isn’t.
Customer Service is not burying your clients under a mass of email, text messages and other like correspondences… and its certainly not leaving obscure voice messages and assuming that’s “good enough; now the ball is in their court.”
And, Customer Service is not completing a sales transaction and never contacting that client again until you feel its time they make another purchase from you.
So, from my perspective (and that of many customers I spoken to from multiple business disciplines), here is what that innocuous term, “Customer Service” is all about.
Customer Service is about creating personal contacts and valuable ‘relationships’ with PEOPLE!
It’s about being proactive by addressing your client’s needs with solutions that positively impact them; not pushing what you have to sell on them. Customer Service is about really listening to your client, and then being responsive in addressing their needs.
To be clear, Customer Service does encompass the use of electronic communications tools such as text and email as methods to augment your face to face (or direct discussions on phone, Skype ect) interactions. However, these tools should never replace good old fashioned person to person interaction. Technology isn’t always what its cracked up to be!
So, where does my rant bring us? Good question.
To conclude; Customer Service is all about establishing and fostering relationships of trust.
It’s about communicating clearly and honestly with your clients during whatever transaction is underway in such a manner that develops an environment of trust and fair play. Ensure you keep your word, and ensure that at worse, end delivery meets all established criteria for the transaction. If possible, exceed your client’s expectations!
If you can do this; your customer will most likely feel as they have been treated well (or perhaps more that well), and that your business transaction resulted in a ‘win-win’ scenario.
Your client will come to view you not just as a vendor; but rather as a trusted colleague that they can rely on to be responsive, engaged and interested in supporting them in helping their business grow and prosper.
Do this consistently, and your business will likely grow and prosper too!