The Importance of Customer Service

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Did you ever have a situation where you were just “wowed”? I mean simply blown away by impeccable and far-reaching customer service. With so many vendors and increased competition customer service is required for every company.

Customer service is important because:

1. It aids marketing – the more customers get to know you company and its products the more influence there is on referrals and promotions.

2. Service costs less – The value of customer to customer influences provoke others to notice your firm decreasing your cost of labor and advertising. One customer service message can save millions in attempting to acquire a new customer.

3. Service aids morale and productivity – Simply put a happy workforce makes for better servers of customers.

Now there are other reasons to aid customer service but the reality is that your business is in business for the acquisition and retention of clients. Pragmatically, nothing happens in your organization without a customer therefore they are the purpose of business not an interruption of it.

I recall many years ago a consumer that was placed on infinite hold due to an issue he had with a telephone company. He waited so long that he become infuriated but worse he recorded the telephone conversation. The representative representing the communications company became belligerent and started screaming at the consumer. This only led to the clip appearing on the Internet and receiving over 11 million downloads. This is not the purpose for this business and not the best way to gain press coverage.

So if customer service is so why don’t companies pay more attention? There are several reasons but the top issues include:

1. A lack of focus – many feel there is not a problem.

2. A lack of money – organizations simply place more attention to research and development and new clients.

3. A lack of time – with increased competition there is little time to waste on this issue

4. And more importantly

a. A true lack of culture and leadership that places some scrutiny through the eyes of the customer.

The issue of customer service isn’t just a problem for customers. Shareholders need to pay attention, too. Let’s review a major home remodeling company. For years it was famous for having knowledgeable floor staff that could tell you what you needed to fix a leak or build a garage. Its stock, no coincidence, was a rocket, climbing from a split-adjusted $10 to $70 at the end of the decade. The company has had a volatile time due in large measure to poor customer service.
The best method for creating a customer culture is hiring. It is important you recruit and hire personnel based on their customer service talents. Talent is a skill set that cannot be taught. The easiest method is looking for people who have the empathy and skill for handling customer situations. Disney and McDonald’s, spend inordinate sums of money and time investing in the hiring process. A strategic investment in this area will provide long-term gains, higher profits and less employee attrition.

Secondly, one of my favorite business books is called In Search of Excellence. The book introduced the concept known as “management by walking around.” There is simply no better opportunity to get to know your clients unless you walk around. I am often amazed at the arrogance of companies not greeting clients. It is imperative for leaders to get to know the largest as well is the smallest client. Every client counts. It is important to know how satisfied they are. Think in terms of the chef of a restaurant that visits each table to discover how appetizers, entrees and desserts were. Tony makes it a point each night to visit and spend time with every customer at every table to determine how satisfied they are with their meals.

Finally, customer service is as much internal as external. Every department is a client of the other. Leaders who walk around notice the subtle issues that create barriers to customer relationships. It is those leaders that take corrective action that become exemplars for the remainder of society. For example, many years ago the CEO of Southwest Airlines loaded bags into airplanes to get them in the air faster. Fred Smith of FedEx delivered overnight packages and Roy Disney was helpful in creating the customer construct at Disney World. You become more competitive and the industry leader when you remain in proximity with your clients.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Drew Stevens
Drew J. Stevens Ph.D. (Dr. Drew) is the author of Split Second Selling and the soon to be released Ultimate Business Bible and six other business books on sales, customer loyalty, self mastery and business development solutions. Drew helps organizations to dramatically accelerate revenue and outstrip the competition. He conducts over 4 international keynotes, seminars and workshops per year.

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