Go BIG on Customer Service

31 May Go BIG on Customer Service

Customer Service SurveyWho wears the customer service hat in your business? It’s an important question because every company, whether big or small, needs a solid customer service plan.

A small business can grow big based on great customer service.  Don’t believe me? Then let me prove it to you.  Let’s look at the differences in small business versus big business customer service.

The big guys.

There are serious problems often associated with the larger companies and customer service. Call a big business with a complaint and you’ll rarely get a satisfactory resolution. In fact, you might hang up before you even reach a human because of all the hoops you have to jump through in their automated system. You often experience frustration and figure it’s not worth your time and effort and hang up.

Customers lose interest in a company fast if they don’t get their problems or complaints taken care of efficiently. A small business owner can offer personalized complaint resolution in a timely manner.

The fine print.

Larger companies usually have policies in place to protect the company – the fine print you didn’t read when you made your purchase.

The small business owner tends to offer 100% money back guarantees, standing by the product or service, and more often than not, delivers above and beyond your expectations to ensure your satisfaction and build customer loyalty.

Do unto others.

There will be times when you might lose a customer based on his or her dissatisfaction, but don’t let it cause you to harm your reputation with knee jerk, defensive reactions. Always be polite because even though you didn’t meet their needs, they could recommend someone to you in the future whose needs you will meet.

Customer service is meant to support your customer when they have questions or problems. When you address them as a person (not a case number) they’re more likely to come back and do business with you again. And that’s the point! It’s much more cost efficient to keep a customer than to gain a new one – everytime.

Here’s where the small business owner has the advantage. Their business focus is on their customers and getting them to return time and again.  Larger companies have the luxury of seeing an influx of new customers every day, so they’re sometimes not as concerned with keeping the existing ones happy.

Take advantage of your small business status and GO BIG on customer service — or it could be the one thing holding you back from achieving the kind of growth in your company that you want.

All that being said, I have one final note to add. You can do everything to please a disgruntled customer and still have them spread bad news about you. It’s unfortunate, but true. The bigger your small business becomes, the more likely you are to run into this. Try not to take it personally. You simply will never be able to please all of the people all of the time.

Your turn…

How do you handle customer service for your business? How far would you go to make things right for an unhappy customer? Do you think the customer is ALWAYS right?

6 Comments
  • Debe
    Posted at 17:02h, 31 May Reply

    Why is it that when companies that built their business of serving the customer forget to “serve” them by automating CS systems? I agree that text updates and alerts are convenient, but when I have a problem and am already frustrated, the last thing I want to do is try to navigate through a maze of voice systems. Banks are the worst! Do you want my business or not?
    This blog asks all the right questions and gives thought-provoking information. Thanks, Loral.

  • Rick Cooper
    Posted at 17:23h, 31 May Reply

    I would agree you definitely need to put a focus on customer service. One tip is to respond quickly to complaints. The longer you wait to resolve an issue, the more difficult it become to resolve it to your customer’s satisfaction.

  • Wendell
    Posted at 17:45h, 31 May Reply

    Totally right on here… By really caring and then listening to your customer and understanding how they want to interact with you and your product you get to (eventually) know what their needs are before they have them.

  • Stephen Marshall
    Posted at 13:13h, 01 June Reply

    Another very interesting topic. How do I approach customer service. WELL! firstly I agree, you need to put focus on customer service, especially starting out, far easier to get a bad reputation than to gain one. People love to talk about how bad someone / something is compared to how great someone / something is. Again from purely a personal perspective, If you can get customers to maybe interact with you, make them feel they could be part of something is good, if people feel they are listened to, ideas are respected then they will probably come back time and time again, treat them like a fool and you can be pretty sure you will lose them.
    Saying all that though, there has to be a cut off point when you think ok this customer isn’t right, yes pander to them a little, but have your values that no matter who or what they are, you will not compromise. Doesn’t mean your perfect but to have morals and principles DOES make a difference.

  • Sandra McFadin
    Posted at 16:48h, 02 June Reply

    A wise and successful restaurateur once told me; even a bad meal accompanied by excellent customer service can save the day but bad customer service coupled with the best food in the world cannot retain a customer. It does matter how customers are treated and how problems are resolved.

  • dominic
    Posted at 13:37h, 06 June Reply

    I agree with you because your network of customers is approximately your Net worth.

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