Customer Service: The Strongest Client Relationships Are Made in the Eye of the Storm
While it may seem like common sense, customer service is one of the main factors in deciding what makes a good business versus a bad one. Think about it! Before you go to any place of business, you almost always take the time to check reviews in order to get an idea about the quality of the product and/or service you're looking for, including customer service rankings.
What is Customer Service?
Again, this may seem obvious, but it never hurts to reiterate. Customer service is the assistance provided by a company to its consumers, whether the assistance is requested or not. For example, Publix is a great customer service model, as they not only stand with "the customer is always right" mindset but also go out of their way to make your shopping trip a true "pleasure", whether it be through asking if you found everything you needed or offering to help a customer out to their car. As you can tell from these examples from a top-tier company, the customer was never the one initiating the service, but rather being offered the service.
These interactions with customers help create human connections to build relationships and create happy customers. It is also important for an employee to be able to offer product knowledge, have quick response times when answering customer questions or checking on a product's availability, you want to exceed customer expectations. These are high-quality customer service skills. The minute amount of time it takes to offer these services to individual customers helps to create loyal customers who are likely to share their amazing customer service stories as well as refer customers.
Why is Customer Service Important?
The main goal of any well-run business is to attract customers, as well as retain current customers due to a list of factors that make you stand out as a company. These factors allow you to separate your business from others in the same industry, also known as your value. A company's value strongly depends on its level of effective customer service, as there is no positive way of standing out with poor customer service or bad experience on record.
How Do I Improve My Customer Service?
As a business owner, there's always room for improvement when it comes to customer service, even at Publix! One of the best ways to get non-biased opinions of your product and/or service is through customer satisfaction surveys, which can be distributed electronically, in-person, or mailed. These surveys should be designed to gather valuable information from your customers, such as their experience working with you and their personal demographics. Be as specific as you can, asking for examples of instances of both good and bad customer service experiences, as this can help you pinpoint the issues, as well as the successes. Customer demographics are important in understanding your clientele and the link between customer satisfaction and your customers.
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