by Holly Czuba

Getting to the Bottom of Great Customer Service

Why I Believe It’s the Best Marketing, Sales & Loyalty Strategy

great customer service is the best marketing, sales and loyalty strategy

Do you know about Open Forum by American Express? It’s a great resource for business owners. I receive their weekly article round-up via email.

I read an article on customer service this morning. It’s so spot on that I had to share it.  In my last post, I briefly mentioned a recent podcast where I listened to local small business owners speaking about their experiences starting a business. The host asked what the biggest surprise was, as they started their businesses.  More than one owner responded that they hadn’t fully grasped how difficult it was going to be to find and then keep customers. I’m sure those of you reading this can attest – it’s a battle every day. Gaining new customers and retaining loyal customers requires diligence and effort on a daily basis. Selling cycles are becoming longer. Prospects are doing more research, looking at online reviews, etc.

To Retain More Customers Provide Great Customer Service

It’s pretty well worn territory that it’s more cost effective to retain current customers and increase loyalty than to spend extra marketing dollars on getting people in your door. “Loyal customers are likely to buy more often from you and spend more money on each purchase. Plus, keeping customers costs less than continually acquiring new ones,” say the folks over at Small Biz Trends.  In fact, a 5% increase in retention can increase profits by up to 95%.

One way to keep more customers is to provide outstanding customer service. Here are some of the ways in which we provide a quality customer experience and earn loyalty with every communication.  None of these are earth shattering.  But imagine two companies that provide similar services.  One provides great customer service, while the other is always a hassle to deal with.  Which would you do business with?

  • We do what we say we will do
  • We answer the phone and return emails
  • We exceed expectations
  • We are pro-active with communication and solutions

Train, Train, Train, Train and Train Some More

In theory, providing exceptional customer service should only require additional training for your employees. Since part of your employee on-boarding program has a section dedicated to customer service, all you need is a refresher every now and then, right?

The caveat with training is that you can’t rely on one session to make it stick. To gain consistent results, training must be consistent. Especially as a new employee – there is a slew of information to absorb and remember.  Refresher trainings on customer service standards can be held monthly.

In the case that you don’t train employees on customer service yet, start today! Grab our list (golden rule type of stuff) and add your own needs. For example, “Always say please and thank-you,” or “Return service calls within an hour.”

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