Good customer service encompasses a lot of different elements such as how your greet customers, how you back up the products or services you sell, and how you ensure your customers are made aware that they are valued and appreciated, to name just a few. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE

Good customer service encompasses a lot of different elements such as how your greet customers, how you back up the products or services you sell, and how you ensure your customers are made aware that they are valued and appreciated, to name just a few. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE

IT’S YOUR BUSINESS: Customer service is so much more than being nice

By Joe Smith

Special to the Record

Recently I had a shipment arrive at my studio that had been damaged.

Something had punctured the side and had sliced right through a large canvas. I contacted my supplier and without hesitation, they solved the issue by sending me a replacement with extra packaging protection at no cost to me.

This brought to mind how important good customer service is in business today.

Jeff Bezos once said, “We see our customers as invited guests to a party and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”

Good customer service goes beyond just solving problems. It encompasses a lot of different elements such as how your greet customers, how you back up the products or services you sell, and how you ensure your customers are made aware that they are valued and appreciated, to name just a few.

There’s a lot of competition out there and research shows that those companies that can provide exceptional customer service will more than likely develop greater customer loyalty and generate repeat sales.

This of course is cost-effective as there are also numerous studies and surveys that show it can take five to seven, and even in some cases double-digit numbers to bring in a new customer versus retaining the ones you have now.

When it comes to an exercise in probabilities, you have a 60-70 per cent chance of making a sale with a returning customer in comparison to only a 5-20 per cent chance with a new customer. In addition, existing customers have been shown to spend more than new.

A great deal of this has to do with providing good customer service. HubSpot Research indicates that 93 per cent of customers are likely to make a repeat purchase after a positive customer service experience. And in another survey 66 per cent switched brands due to bad service but with proper care, 85 per cent could have been saved.

A good customer experience will heavily impact recommendations. Customers love to talk and will share their experiences on average with six or more people if they have had a satisfactory experience and 72 per cent will talk about them in person which highlights the importance of word-of-mouth advertising in this day and age of social media.

Like every other business strategy it is important to develop customer service policies that address every aspect of your business’s contact with your customers. This should include everything from how quickly you answer your phone or return calls to answering emails or on-line queries. In addition, how you deal with returns, damaged products or deal with dissatisfied customers.

A business that considers excellence in customer service and can exceed its expectations will stand out above the competition. And like my experience with my supplier will undoubtedly generate goodwill and return business.

Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email at joesmith@shaw.ca

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