Building Your Business by Great Customer Service

April 27, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Most business-owners would agree that having great customer service is one of the best ways to build your reputation and build your business. In fact, I would go so far as to say it’s essential, and the quality of customer service is the number one thing that pulls people back to your business, or pushes them away. However, many business owners often miss a part of the puzzle when it comes to customer service, and the effects can be devastating. The piece of the puzzle is not your staff, but the services you use that come into contact with your customers.

Here’s what I mean.

A little while ago I wanted to send a gift to a friend, and I decided a selection of wines would be perfect. So I found an online retailer and ordered. Everything was very smooth. There was a great selection of wines, the ordering process was easy, and the merchant gave you a tracking code to see exactly where your package was and when it would be delivered.

The wine arrived quickly – within two days – and everything was great apart from one little thing. One of the bottles, and it happened to be the most expensive, had been shattered. It wasn’t the fault of the wine merchant, but the courier, who must have dropped the case. And there is the great lesson about customer service, because it isn’t only the service you give, but the service given by anybody you hire to work in your business.

Three tips to giving great customer service

1. Get feedback from your customers. Most customers will give feedback, especially if something goes wrong. But not always, and in some cases these people will tell other people, and can seriously damage your reputation. So encourage feedback, especially feedback about bad stuff, because that then gives you the chance to put things right, and also stop the problem from happening again.

2. Constantly check the quality of work of your sub-contractors. If someone lese is doing work on your behalf, make sure they are producing top-quality work. It’s so easy to think that everything is OK, when a sub-contractor (such a courier) could be making a big mess of things, and causing problems you don’t even know about.

3. Take responsibility for your staff, including your sub-contractors. If a sub-contractor does something wrong, make sure you put it right, and take responsibility as though they were one of your own staff. There’s nothing a customer dislikes more than a company which tries to pass the buck for bad service. Take responsibility, and you stand out as the good guy, and really enhance your reputation.

There’s a lot more to giving great customer service, but by following these three simple rules, you’ll get it mostly right, and that’s usually enough for most people. In the end, it’s all about taking responsibility for every part of your business, and making sure quality is high right across the board. Do that, and you’ll never need to fear the competition or worry about your customers going elsewhere.

Direct response marketing and lead generation specialist Steve Prescott is the author of Smart Business Power Marketing.

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