This article was first published by Karen Goddard in her lifestarts blog on 23 Jun 2010
I have also written about customer service in Retail(ers Therapy) on my own website arthurpartridge.com, in an article entitled “Retailers is this a little mistake that is costing you thousands each year?”.
Is your customer service killing your business?
..to me ..is one of the key things that is important to me
Don’t you hate it when you buy something and then get really bad customer service when you need some help ?
Or even …when you are LOOKING TO BUY ..and the service is either rude and unhelpful or just totally ignores you
..hey ..forget it ..I am out of there ..sale lost!
I remember a story from years ago about a really scruffy looking guy who turned up at a BMW garage in a beat up escort, got out of the car and was meet with the look of disdain by the sales man …he got back into his car ..drove to the next town that also had a BMW dealership and got a warm, chatty reception from the guy there, really friendly but respectful. The sales guy let the man go for a test drive and try all the whistles and gadgets to his hearts content.
,,,the result ..the guy ordered 5 top of the range BMW’s for his executive staff and the friendly salesman made a nice big bonus! ..the guy also told the salesman about the other dealership who he had been to first ..result ..the salesman phoned the first dealership and thanked them for their lack of insight!!
Or ladies, do you remember the scene in Pretty Woman when she has to go shopping for a new outfit and the snobby shop assistants take one look at her and assume who & what she is…big mistake!
(one of my favourite films…had to mention it!)
There is so much competition out there these days ..people do not have to buy from you but they will buy from someone.
Yes, first impressions count ..but they can also be deceiving ..treat everyone as royalty!
What makes me buy ?
I would much rather buy from someone that:
Who has been recommended to me
Who has guarantees
Who makes me feel special
Who isn’t all hype and no action
Who walks the walk
Now I know when a business is new it can be difficult, but
it takes just one or two references /testimonials from happy customers,
it takes a happy helpful person to be the sales person, who excepts that you are having a bad hair day and just come from the gym or you borrowed your friends car
It just takes a well thought out campaign to confirm what guarantees you have in place
A great tip that I had given to me ..was test your customer services out yourself …be a mystery customer of your own.
My friend was outsourcing his customer services queries for his business, he phoned up and was shocked at the response (dull and un-inviting) he then asked a slightly awkward question and he was again disappointed at the response …how many customers and potential customers had his outsourcing cost him? He now has a new company helping him and regularly checks what they are up to !
Don’t get complacent ..check that your customers are happy with the service, ask for feedback, ask for referrals, ask for testimonials, check yourself
Your customers happiness is paramount to your business and as the world becomes more and more connected and social media is becoming the key referral point ..then you need to ensure your utmost to give the best customer service you can.