The customer is always right, right? You’d better believe it if you want to survive in today’s competitive marketplace.
When you follow the money trail back to its source, you understand that taking good care of your customers is not just important, it’s imperative. More than any other factor, the service you give your customers affects your business success or failure.
Good customer service starts at the moment a prospective client comes in contact with you. Let’s say you own an electronics store. A man walks in looking for a plasma TV. The first part of good customer service involves pleasant, helpful workers who respond to the customer’s needs with a helping hand guiding him through his experience. With correct customer service, he is able to see his options, find what he needs, and leave satisfied with a purchase that pleases him. But good customer service doesn’t stop there.
Suppose the customer gets home and begins to watch his new TV. Within minutes the TV starts to smell funny and make weird sounds. The man calls the store very upset with his new product.
Assume he reaches an unhelpful salesperson who, in so many words, tells him “tough luck.” Not only will the customer never shop at your store again, he will tell an average of seven people about his poor experience with you. However, if the person on the phone apologizes, takes responsibility and offers him an acceptable solution, he is likely to calm down. By allowing him to easily return the product and get a replacement, this store guarantees his loyalty, future business and positive referrals.
Thus, good customer service starts at the initial point of contact and ends when the consumer is completely satisfied with the product or service, which may be long after the sale takes place.
While this may seem like a lengthy process, great customer care is the single most controllable difference between you and your competition. With so many choices available, consumers have little or no reason to remain loyal to a company if they are not 110% pleased with the experience. This brings us to the next important aspect of customer service, the FUBB Factor.
Follow Up Beyond Belief – FUBB. This is the biggest factor between good and great customer service. FUBB refers to the practice of going above and beyond the call of duty to please the client. In today’s highly competitive economy, it is crucial to follow up in any and every way possible. Follow up to the point that your customers cannot resist telling other people about you.
If a customer makes a suggestion, follow up on it. If a customer experiences a problem, follow up and make sure it has been resolved to their satisfaction. If a mistake was made, take responsibility for it whether or not you are the one who made it. Then ask your clients for feedback in order to gauge how they truly feel about your service.
When the customer is happy, business is good. They tell others about you. Life is good. But if the customer is unhappy, you are likely to face bad reviews, negative word-of-mouth advertising, and a lost customer forever. Be sure to make excellent customer service a top priority in your long list of things to do. It’s just smart business. A single customer, well cared for – someone whose concerns you have followed up on beyond belief – can pay you rich dividends well into the future.