Sure, everyone says that customer service matters, and that customer service is important to the way that they do business… but how many times do you feel like the above situation is what’s actually happening when you’re dealing with a company? The most common perception is that no matter what the party line is, the fact of the matter is that companies today just don’t care. Most people get annoyed with it, but few people actually take the time to think about how those perceptions transfer to their business.
Does this Sound Familiar?
You have an issue with a product you’ve purchased from a company, something frustrating in and of itself, and, already irate, you attempt to contact the company regarding the issue you’ve experienced. You want the company to take responsibility for the faulty product and take the time to get the matter resolved. Instead you either get an automated response, or, worse, the company tells you that it’s your fault that the issue arose and you’re out of luck, placing the blame on you for the issue with the product, regardless of whether or not it’s your fault that the issue occurred. You rant, rave, maybe even cuss, and get blown off in return.
Why it matters
Your business won’t last if you don’t have any customers, and the introduction of social media to the business world makes this all the more important, as all the other customers of your company can see and talk about all of the issues that have occurred with your business in a medium that is directly tied to your business. The more negative that is said, the less likely that new customers will deign to use your products or services because they don’t want the same experience; business will continue to decrease until either you do something to correct the problem or until your company is down the drain.
What you should do
Don’t make it simply a party line. Make customer service actually matter. Take the time to treat each customer as though their issue is unique (even though most will not be), and take the time to get it resolved correctly the first time. If you sell second hand appliances and you swear you’ve tested them out, don’t blame a customer when a thermostat breaks less than a month after they’ve bought it from you. If a product got damaged in shipping, apologize; don’t blame it on the post office. Always apologize for the issue. If it’s an issue of damage or an issue with a defect, ask for the product to be sent back, or ask for a picture of the issue, depending on what the issue is and what the product is.
Have a system in place of working to handle issues. Resolve whatever the issue is promptly, and resolve it the first time. Treat each customer as though their business matters, and as though you value their opinion. Keep all negativity about the situation or about the customer to yourself. Treat each situation as though it could make or break your business, because it could. Once you’ve made customer service your priority, you have a solid foundation upon which to grow your business.
Image Source: Zetta. (2014). Customer Support Matters. Retrieved from http://www.zetta.net/images/Customer%20Support%20Matters%20at%20Zetta300x197.jpg