In the last few months I have had many experiences with different organizations where their treatment of the customer was less than stellar. In some instances telephone calls were put through with promises to return my calls, to no avail. In other cases emails are sent to addresses meant for the purpose, and even visits made to physical locations yet no feedback.
I have had no choice but to come to the conclusion that most organizations seem to take the customer for granted. This unacceptable behavior is prevalent in a wide spectrum of industries, both private and government owned. The government owned enterprises feel that since the customer does not have an alternative but to patronize then he or she can be treated shabbily. It is sad to see that this is also the mindset of privately owned businesses as well.
Now in order to build wealth you must have a product or service, something that can be exchanged for money with someone who wants/needs it. The party with the product is the seller while the other party with the need or want is the customer or buyer. In order to build wealth sellers must cultivate and attract lots of buyers that need the seller’s product. These increasing sales eventually lead to wealth creation for the seller.
According to Mahatma Gandhi, “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”
Today’s customers are savvier and more exposed than they were a few years ago. With the advent of technology production processes have improved thus causing them to have lots of variety and be spoiled for choice. Technology has also made it possible to get access to your product or service without having to visit your physical location. These developments have put the power in the hands of the consumer to determine what to buy or not. It may not be far-fetched to conclude that if you undertake actions designed to overlook the customer, then he or she will quickly move to another seller and very soon you may be out of business.
Nearly every industry or sector is driven by intense competition today. This means that we have competing sellers who might be producing extremely identical products or services. Now what gives winning companies the edge in such a situation? It is the way that they treat the customer. Customers tend to build relationships and lasting bonds with brands and products where they are treated properly, compared with those where they are not.
Infactmarketing studies have shown that on the average a customer who has been treated well normally tells only three other people of his experience on the average; while he tells a whopping eleven people on the average when he got a bad experience. Added to the fact is that in these days of social media and citizen journalism a perceived bad reputation for your product or service can instantly go viral and cause you damage.
Now customer service isn’t just important for businesses that want to build wealth for their owners, it is extremely vital. According to Tabitha Naylor in her online article, “4 Reasons Good Customer Service is Vital.” They are:
It’s What Customers Will Remember
People will always remember if your customer service was really great or really terrible. You definitely don’t want them to remember the latter. You may be wondering why people remember customer service so vividly, but the answer should be fairly obvious – your customers are actively interacting with you. They aren’t just looking at your products, but speaking and working with someone who is supposed to represent your company. If that person represents your company in a good way, your customers will remember your company fondly. If that person represents your company in a negative way, you’ll probably lose a customer and garner some bad press.
It Reflects Heavily On Your Entire Business
Everything pertaining to your company reflects upon everything else. You see, if you have good customer service, people naturally assume you have good products. If you have bad customer service, people naturally assume you have bad products. The same goes vice versa, and can pertain to shipping, returns, services, and anything else. Even though this may not be entirely true, you need to be aware that this is how your customers think. Besides, do you really want to patronize a place who has bad customer service? Of course not, because if you run into any issues you can’t be positive you’ll receive the help you need.
It Shows Customers You Care
When you take the time to courteously and effectively take care of your customer’s issues, it shows you truly care about them. This shouldn’t be faked either. You should genuinely care about your customers, since they are literally the most important aspect of your business. Without customers, you sell no products or services. When you don’t make sales, you have no cash flow. Without cash flow, you can’t pay your overhead. When you don’t pay your overhead, your business literally fails. On the bright side, customers who feel as though a company cares about them are much more likely to refer others and become repeat customers themselves.
It’s A Great Marketing Angle
From a purely business standpoint, good customer service is a great marketing angle. It’s something you can tout in your advertisements which is sure to bring you more customers. People like to hear you have top notch customer service, pure and simple. Anything that can help you with effective marketing is worth the extra effort. This angle works best when other real-life customers are talking about how great your customer service is, so feel free to ask for reviews and testimonials.
Customer service can also aid profitability because businesses with happy customers tend to generate more revenue for their owners. Take a look at the most successful companies they don’t take the customer for granted and it is one of the secrets to their success – putting the customer at the heart of everything they do. Companies need to invest in building high performance customer interfacing people to continually stoke the relationship fires as this will keep the organization from going under. You cannot afford not these days, if you aim to build wealth. So engage the customer, return calls, respond to emails and honour your promises. Make your customers stick with you.