I've got a question for you - What is your customer service strategy?
For some of you, I think you have to be honest and say your customer service is terrible. You have to put your customer service as a priority, because it has a lot to do with your brand perception.
A lot of people forsake customer service. It’s incredibly important. If it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be yelp, or Trip Advisor, or incessant surveys. It matters what people experience with you and your organization. All interactions affect your clients’ perception of you.
Most people do not go to restaurants just for the food. They go for the entire experience from start to finish. Someone can have a sub par product but blow it out of the water with the experience, and people will flock to it.
How people are treated matters.
The first step with customer service is that it is not about you. It is about your clients. You have to focus everything you do on what is going to make your clients happier. Focus on what will give them a better experience. They want to know that you hear them, that you understand them, that you took the time to let them know that the money that they were spending with you was valued.
People do not have to bring you their money. Businesses have a responsibility to provide a good product and good experience and to make people feel like they matter.
I will give you a great example. Just this week I bought a small product at Bailey’s Fine Jewelry in Rocky Mount. I know the staff very well. I do not go in there a lot. They are big supporters of the local community and give to many local organizations. It makes sense that when you walk into their establishment, that you are treated well.
I went back to get the product that I bought, because it had to be delivered. When I returned, they came out smiling with a giant bag in their hands. Inside the bag were some of my favorite things that they had overheard me talking about. There was some wine and other things in it for me to take home. That thought and gesture blew me away. They showed me how much I am valued and how much they appreciate my business.
Where do you think I am going to go consistently now? I am going to go to Bailey’s. They create an experience that is focused on the customer. They showed me how much they valued me.
You should always respond to your customers in a way that shows that you know they do not have to be knocking on your door. They do not have to buy your burger, get an oil change from you, live in your city, buy your product.
When you build relationships and make the investment to treat people well, you build your brand and your customers become your ambassadors.
Customer service is still important today. It still needs to be genuine, focused on your audience, and executed in a way that they know you value them.
What will it cost you to give someone a free coffee? What will it cost you to knock a few dollars off of something just for their experience? Those customers become life-long customers and tell everyone they know about their experience.
Remember that customer service is vital for the success of your business. It is not about you, it is about the people that you serve.
- David L. Joyner and the Joyner Media & Strategies Team