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April 21, 2014
How Would You Rate Your Customer Service?
 
Customer service can make or break a company.

That is why you should place adequate emphasis on its importance with your employees and focus on it more as the owner or manager.

In fact, according to one study, 89% of consumers have switched companies they do business with after they were the victim of bad customer service.

If you think that's bad, consider this. Consumers share their bad experiences with a company twice as often as they share their good experiences.

How serious is bad customer service?

According to the study, 92% of companies that responded to the survey noted a decrease in customer satisfaction. The biggest problem? Inconsistent service.

What Bad Service Can Do
Bad customer service can affect your business in many ways.

You probably already realize that it will cause you to lose the customer that is unhappy or dissatisfied.

It can also limit your future customers because of word of mouth. But poor customer service can result in losing out on potential customers that walk through your door. If you fail to greet people when they come in or don't sound pleasant when they call on the phone, you may see them walk away or hang up without completing the deal.
 
Another way that poor customer service hurts your business is in its reputation.

Once other businesses and organizations hear the negative press, they won't want to recommend you to their friends or customers. This reputation can extend to job candidates, because they won't want to be associated with your company.

Many times, poor customer service is the result of ineffective training.

People just don't know the right response, so they either give none or one that is inadequate.

As more customers yell and complain, they get frustrated and begin to look elsewhere for a job. This increases your turnover rate, which only further complicates the issue because your customers have to get used to another new face.

The end result is a loss of revenue, which will inevitably cause your business to fail.

However, this doesn't have to happen if you work to prevent the issue by providing excellent customer service.
 
How to Get Better
Here are three ways to get better customer service from your staff so that your business will succeed:
Learn how to listen. Just hearing what customers say is not enough; you should learn how to look past their words to what they really want
Identify customers' needs. Customer service providers should learn what the customer really needs, which goes beyond the product or service they are buying
Make customers feel important. Do this by using their names and making interactions feel personal; don't forget to thank them for their business
 
What it comes down to is hiring people that care about doing a good job and then training them on how to do it.

Don't overlook any aspect of customer service, from dealing with new customers in the first moment of contact to completing transactions and following up to working with customers who have an issue. Improving customer service is essential to your business' future.

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Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including SEO and online business degrees.
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