As a business owner, what does customer service mean to you? Do you picture a literal definition, a memory of a good or bad experience with another business or an evaluation of how your company provides customer service?
Every interaction between your business and the public is a form of customer service. Every single one - even simply answering the phone to a wrong number can determine the success of your business.
Take a peek at social media. Here customers can loudly voice how their experience with a company has gone wrong or right, and it shows businesses can no longer afford to ignore customer service.
As a business owner, your company's policies on customer service can make or break you. So why and how are you failing?
WHY - Attitude - you don't think it is important.
HOW - Training - you haven't prepared your employees.
As a business owner, you should stress to your employees that customer service is No. 1 REGARDLESS of how BUSY you are, or how the customer is behaving. One way to ensure customer service is to make sure you have a written policy. This policy can be as simple as one or two paragraphs, or a very detailed customer service plan of action.
Consider incorporating these key points in your customer service plan. None of these principles are especially hard to grasp, but oddly they are often the most forgotten.
In today's competitive market, customers have many avenues in which to spend their money. What can make you and your products stand out is how you handle your customer service. Customers who feel appreciated, and valued, will in turn appreciate and value your business.
Contributor Leigh Morrisett spent several years in retail as the owner and customer service manager for the Outdoor Connection (a retail hunting supply store). She is now the owner and purchasing manager of J & W Distributors, an industrial supply company.
Leigh brings industry knowledge and know-how to Atwill Media's blog, providing tips and tricks from first hand experiences she's had as a small business manager.