Why is customer service important, especially for a small business?
Kathy Doering, President of market research agency Ann Michaels & Associates, Ltd. http://www.ishopforyou.com/ , shares her views on the importance of customer service to a company. Kathy is well entrenched in the business of customer service as her company offers various market research services such as mystery shopping, phone and web based surveys, social media monitoring, call center capabilities, among others.
How important is customer service to the success of a business?
Kathy: Customer service is the lifeline of any business. Business owners spend large amounts of time and money to win new customers but yet they don’t do much to insure that the customer is well taken care of once they arrive. Making sure your new customers turn into loyal customer is critical to a company’s success. Loyal customers create “word of mouth” advertising which is the best form of marketing a company can do.
How can a small business leverage customer service to compete effectively?
Kathy: Small Business owners should consider offering their loyal customers something to thank them for their patronage. Little touches go a long way and they don’t have to be expensive. Sending a personal email alerting a loyal customer of a sale before the general public learns of it is a great way to personalize service. Give customers the Disney experience whenever you can. Gather ideas from your employees. Since they deal with your customers on a day to day basis, they may have some create ideas to share as well.
Why is it important to get feedback at how a business is doing in terms of customer service?
Kathy: It is one of the best things a company can do for growth. Gathering feedback from your middle customers is critical. The middle customer is where most customers fall, neither extremely happy nor unhappy. Many times companies feel that if they place comment cards on a counter or have a standard feedback form on their website, this will be enough to gather the opinions and feelings of their customers. However, most of the time this will only give you feedback from one extreme or another; either your raving fans or very unhappy customers. Most people fall in between somewhere. That is where the real feedback is and where you can learn the most about your customers.
Read the full interview “Excellent Customer Service: A Must for Small Businesses”