A Business Truth –There is no need to market if your small business does not offer great customer service?
And by customer service, I am not just talking about a good return policy. Customer service starts in the pre-purchase decision making effort through purchase and then right on to use, today, tomorrow and for the life of the product or service.
If your business isn’t offering top-notch customer service, you may as well save your marketing dollars. Why market if you are focused on a one-time customer transaction? Or certainly, change your marketing strategy to one of getting the customer in the door and making a quick sale.
This sound harsh and callous, but think about it. Marketing, in its broadest meaning, includes building awareness, trust and a relationship. It’s branding of your business so that the customer knows who you are and what you stand for. Part of that effort is your customer service effort. So if you ignore customer service, it just doesn’t pay to market. Your effort can be simply advertising and nothing more.
But realize when doing this that your customer pool is finite. And your reputation spreads. Even if you could maintain the cheapest prices over the long term, it won’t be enough to sustain your business.
Good customer service is more than a sign on the wall or a dedicated department. I would suggest taking the sign down and eliminating the department. It is not a job done by only a few employees. It starts with you and must be practiced by each and every employee every day. It’s shown through your words and action.
Good customer service means consistency and something more than one-size-fits-al. It’s offering the customer your full attention. It’s listening and it’s checking back after dealing with an upset customer.
Good customer service is realizing that not all customers are telling you their problems with your products and services. Search them out. Today’s social media is a great way to stay aware of some of these unspoken issues. Make contact and try to resolve the issue.
Customer service and marketing go together. Building a long-term business means offering both.
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Becky McCray says
Robin sent in this comment by email:
I have experienced this first hand and it is painful to help manage social media for a business owner who has a horrible offline relationship with the community (unless they are open to change and are willing to let me help them). We will not work with someone who does not already have a great offline service, it’s like dead air and it’s funny because they think it will just come if they go online, but it doesn’t happen.
Thanks for keeping the great advice coming,
RCV Web Services
Director of Social Media