The Importance of Customer Service


A reader writes…

Dear, Anita,

I have been asked to speak at my company’s annual retreat that is coming up next month. The topic I have been assigned is how to improve customer retention in 2013. The number one reason I think that my company has trouble keeping clients for the long haul is the lack of customer service. Can you please help me explain why customer relations are so important?

Hi, Customer Service Conscious,

Thank you for the question, and congratulations! What a great opportunity you have!

Customer service is an incredibly important aspect of a business and a predictor of future success. In all businesses, your customers are your lifeline and the driving force that keeps your doors open. Without customers, we would be in a world of zero commerce and, worse, zero employment opportunities. Let’s take a few minutes to cover the 3 reasons why customer service should be your top priority on a day-to-day basis at your company.

Return Business:  As I have already mentioned, customers are required for your business to remain operational and profitable. If your customers feel neglected, ignored, uninformed, or disrespected, chances are they will run into the arms of your nearest competitor. With personal consumption expenditures increased by $41.3 billion dollars in Q3 of 2012, according to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis, don’t you think you should be putting most of your effort into keeping the spenders happy? The more greenbacks you get from your customers, the better off your company will be. According to Flowtown, it can be 6 to 7 times more costly to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.

New Business: Great customer service is what makes your business stand out from the crowd. If you had to choose between a business that provides lousy service and one that greets you with a smile and takes the time to understand your needs, which one would you pick? The service you provide your customers distinguishes you and puts you a step ahead of the competition. When you bring together an excellent product or service with a strong reputation for outstanding service, you will begin to create opportunities for new customers without changing your routine.

More Business: Word-of-mouth recommendations are a significant driver of business. Very satisfied customers will recommend your services to their friends. Alternately, very unsatisfied customers will tell even more friends than the satisfied ones! Either way, you have a viral self-perpetuating PR machine built into your customer service performance. According to Consumer Affairs, people that have a positive experience with a company’s customer service department will likely tell two or three others about their experience.

Tune in next week for a related blog post on training customer service representatives to perform at top levels!

Readers, what do you think about customer service? Is it a factor when you are deciding where to spend your money? What are your good, bad, and ugly customer service stories?

Here is a little something on the subject to brighten your day. Enjoy!

Best wishes,

Anita

Have a question you would like to ask? Visit http://anitaclew.com/ask-anita/.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thewindowsilly
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 17:34:56

    Reblogged this on thewindowsilly and commented:
    I so enjoyed this … hope u do too, LOL!

    Reply

  2. Deb P
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 09:22:32

    Interestingly, friends at lunch were just commenting on how customer service has gone by the wayside. Companies that step to the forefront in this area now do stand out and become part of conversation when the service is good enough to be noticed.

    We’ve become so accustomed to just “taking care of business” and communicating through texts, tweets, and a barrage of media that we’ve become out of practice with interpersonal communication of any kind.

    As a company, though, stressing customer service by making demands on your people to do more and do better so it can be quantitatively measured is not good enough. It takes a “top down” approach. Upper-level management needs to demonstrate customer service through “employee relatrions;” viewing employees and associates as “customers” of sorts. Interpersonal relations are cyclical, treating others the way you want them to treat others.

    Reply

  3. Yvie Sismee
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 02:58:42

    I recently told the apartment management about my car being broken into. I suggested to install a gate. Their response: That’s never happened before therefore nothing will be done.

    Reply

  4. Jodie Wardlow
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 13:10:33

    i just want a full time job desperately

    Reply

  5. Phil Calland
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 08:26:19

    Hi Anita

    I love getting your email circulars & most threads

    I know you live in Yankee Land & I’m from Liverpool, but I would happily produce you a free short video – I could interview you over Skype Video about a topic you are passionate about & you could use it for free on your site, YT Channel

    if interested/intrigued about an Across the Pond Techno Collab, then email me on

    rubysateliite@hotmail.co.uk

    examples…

    Best…..

    Phil

    Reply

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Disclaimer

Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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