Improve Customer Service

Dear M & M:

We all know customer service is important to every business. What are some things I can do to improve my efforts?

– Bill

Dear Bill:

Research conducted by Ruth Bolton, Professor in marketing at Arizona State University has shown that a mere increase of customer satisfaction by only 10% leads to an 8% increase in revenue. There are many activities during the course of any business that you cannot control. Every customer has an expectation on the level of customer service they should receive. Every business has control on the amount or level of customer service they choose to give. Keep in mind customers that spend the most amount of money in your business expect and deserve a very high level of customer service before, during and after the sale.

That doesn’t mean the person that spends only $1.00 doesn’t deserve attention. Digging deeper exactly what can you do to manage or implement programs or processes in your company to provide the best customer satisfaction experience in your business? It all starts with personal attention. Here are five things everyone can do to improve customer service in any company by just paying attention to giving personal service. Number one: Greet customers using their first name; take the time to find out what it is if you don’t know it. Number two: Remind them you care, you are there to help.

Keep in touch. Remember service continues after the sale. Call them up, send them an email or drop them a post card in the mail. Number three: Find ways to help. Ask questions, solve their problems, and offer alternative solutions. The first encounter might not lead to a sale. Make sure they remember you as the person that was helpful. Number four: Customize your product or services to meet individual needs. It never is a one size fits all solution. Be flexible, have the authority or get them to the person that does if some special need is required to make them happy.

Number five: address all problems immediately. This sends a message that you really do care and want their business the next time around. Everything doesn’t always go as planned. If a problem comes to surface, fix it immediately. Once again if you don’t have the authority to do this, get it to someone who can. Follow up to make sure they were satisfied.  Ignoring it will not make it go away. With today’s social media one bad experience can be noticed by thousands of potential consumers. Source: Small Business Management, Longenecker, Petty, Palich, Hoy; Cochise College School of Business BUS 183 course.



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