Customer service should be a priority if organizations expect to expand their businesses with new customers while still retaining their current loyal clientele. Businesses are so inundated with such automated services as paying bills online, balancing bank accounts online, pressing 14 digit account numbers followed by pin numbers, our first pet’s name, our mother’s maiden name and the last four digits of our Social Security number, it almost seems that we all too commonly accept poor or no customer service as part of doing business.
Then through all of the haze of online “efficiency” appear companies like Enterprise, Zappos, and Ritz Carlton Hotels which present beautiful rainbows of personalized customer service. Surveys tell us that only one in three customers will actually tell you how they feel if there is a problem with your organization which creates the possibilities of losing two-thirds of your clients simply because something went awry and there was no way to figure out why these customers were even unhappy. When something goes wrong the first time a new customer deals with a business, chances are they will be heading to the competition next time. Nowadays customers have the Internet at their fingertips – plenty of other places to go in hardly a nanosecond.
So what do we need to do to keep our customers coming back? Why not start with learning from the service champions? Some people are just better at addressing customer needs and complaints than other representatives. Let the service champions be the guides and practice winning, proven methods to please customers. Practice fast and efficient service, but make it easy for customers to connect to a real person.
Shoppers between 25 and 44 years-old use Facebook, Yelp and Twitter to ask questions and complain about services, lack of services, lack of products, and the overall dissatisfaction with an organization. Companies who strive to improve their customer service can turn unhappy customers into happy customers and subsequent advocates by being readily available and responsive when an unhappy client posts his complaint. Have a helpful staff ready to make the bad things that have happened right, and sort out the problem in public before it becomes a real problem.
What do people look for when they shop? Two-thirds of customers choose where they shop based on their own personal experiences with the organization’s customer service. A business has to be easy to access, quick to respond, and be knowledgeable about the needs of a customer. Customers value expert advice, a helpful staff, and personal service. Organizations must continue to track disgruntled customers to make the situation right, be able to connect customers to that out of stock item Dawn M. really wanted, or find a customer service agent without having to play musical chairs through a maze of Press One to answer, Press Two to respond, and Press Three to return to Press One and Press Two again.
In the words of Winnie the Pooh, customer service is still all about successful businesses being able to “think, think, think.”
photo credit: typexnick