There are plenty of aspects to businesses that matter. These foundations of businesses cannot be negotiated with and absolutely need to be in place if a business wants to succeed. What are these foundations? A hard work ethic is one – so a business can truly be the sum of its parts, and be as productive as it can be to meet, and exceed, expectations. Another foundation of business is its appearance. This can be cultivated through branding, marketing and general cleanliness in all areas. Appearance is important as it projects the business externally and allows a business to attract people based on its outward projections. Appearance might tell customers more about a business than anything else!
One of the most important foundations in a business is a focus on customer service. Without customer service, a business falls flat and fails. Customer service needs to be a key focus at all times, and it is worth bearing in mind that there can never not be any improvements to a customer service process. You can always stand to make your customer service operations easier for your customer at all times, even if you think you are doing a top job already. Improvements can be made in plenty of areas, and this might be an improvement to process, automation or a technological or theoretical addition. We’ll get onto that later.
What exactly is customer service?
Well, it’s when a business handles customer problems and issues – essentially, a business takes complaints and resolves them. It is basic problem-solving. Customer service issues vary, but all businesses will face them. A business that deals with food might face issues regarding the quality of the food it serves, while businesses that sell technical products might receive issues related to the performance of the products. The issues will vary, but what stays the same is the fact that a business will have to be experts at dealing with the problems that customers bring to the door.
Why is customer service so important though?
Why is it a foundation of a business? There are plenty of solid reasons why, the main one? It’s the downright fact that a business won’t last for long without customer service. Customer service is all about taking money from customers, serving them well, ensuring that they enjoy a good customer experience at the business to produce a loyal customer. Customer service is also a marketing tool as answering questions from potential customers can lead to a relationship being built and sales being made.
The marketing benefits of customer service do not stop there though. Great focus and realization of customer service helps a business stand out amongst a sea of competitors. If your price points are identical with competing businesses, customer service is the type of thing that is going to get you business over your competitors. A focus on customer service always wins through, and you certainly won’t regret it at all – not if it’s something giving your business an advantage over competitors, especially so if you don’t have to cut prices to get business through the door! What’s more, people are likely to talk more about horrible customer service experiences. They will let a lot of people know if something has gone disastrously wrong. There are obvious promotional benefits to providing good customer service, but avoiding bad feedback is one of them. This feedback might come to you and be useful – but more than likely it will be told to others. Avoiding this negativity is better than any other perceived benefits. If people enjoy their service, they might tell two people – which could bring two people to your business. A bad service might lead to over 20 people being told about the bad experience. If we put the two together, you are still out of about 18 customers. It’s worth focusing on a good customer experience just to avoid this rather than bring anyone in!
Businesses tend to have very limited exposure to their customer base outside of their in-store interactions, so customer service serves an especially important role, since these interactions are one of the only time a customer is in contact with your business. There is money to be made in repeat interactions and sales, so mastering customer service can ensure that customers return over and over again based on limited, yet excellent, customer experiences.
Repeat business is important as it is one of very few things a business can count on. A business needs consistency to ensure that it can do its best to predict the future – so it can budget and plan ahead. Without any form of consistency, a business would be right to be worried about its survival in the future. If you want to bring customers back, and create loyal customers that will spend thousands with you over the course of a financial year, you can create the consistency needed to not only survive, but thrive.
How can you improve your customer service?
Educate your employees and ensure they always do their best to go the extra mile for your customers. Find out how you can improve in other areas as well, and act on feedback. Don’t be scared of the future as well – automation is a fully functioning part of customer service right now. Services like a live answering service, bots, and other automatic processes can help a business effectively streamline and improve its customer service output. At the very least, automation can help relieve busy customer service staff during periods of the day.
Simply put, it is very, very easy to make your customers happy if you try – they will come to you with issues and all you need to do is solve them to win time and time again. This problem solving is needed from you and your employees to ensure your customers go home happy. A positive experience could be good for your business, but a negative experience could be cripplingly painful. Don’t risk it at all – always do right by your customers.