In this economically challenging times, excellent customer service becomes even more important for home-based and small businesses. Excellent customer service can help you retain the customers you need to keep your business afloat, or with a lot of good luck and great strategy, even thriving.
But how do you know if you are providing the kind of service your customer wants and needs?
I interviewed Kathy Doering, President of market research agency Ann Michaels & Associates, Ltd. http://www.ishopforyou.com/ , on the importance of customer service to a company. Kathy is well entrenched in the business of customer service as her company offers various market research services such as mystery shopping, phone and web based surveys, social media monitoring, among other services.
Here are some excerpts from the interview:
How important is customer service to the success of a business?
Kathy: Customer service is the lifeline of any business. Business owners spend large amounts of time and money to win new customers but yet they don’t do much to insure that the customer is well taken care of once they arrive. Making sure your new customers turn into loyal customer is critical to a company’s success. Loyal customers create “word of mouth” advertising which is the best form of marketing a company can do.
How can a small business leverage customer service to compete effectively?
Kathy: Small Business owners should consider offering their loyal customers something to thank them for their patronage. Little touches go a long way and they don’t have to be expensive. Sending a personal email alerting a loyal customer of a sale before the general public learns of it is a great way to personalize service. Give customers the Disney experience whenever you can. Gather ideas from your employees. Since they deal with your customers on a day to day basis, they may have some create ideas to share as well.
Read the full interview “Excellent Customer Service: A Must for Small Businesses”