What does the word ‘customer’ mean to you?

A quick google search gives two initial definitions of the noun, customer:

1.    ‘A person who buys goods or services from a shop or business’
2.    ‘A person of a specified kind with whom one has to deal’

The first example is fairly obvious and probably the one with which we are most familiar… but it’s the second definition that stands out, ‘A person of a specified kind with whom one has to deal’.

It’s interesting to note the phrase ‘with whom one has to deal’.

We don’t have to like our customers, we don’t have to have anything in common with them, or even be their friend but let’s get something straight from the outset; without your customers, you don’t have a business!

Customer service is key to the success of your business. It matters not the type of business you run, the key principle is to have great customer service flowing consistently through your business. It doesn’t have to be a hard slog to get it right either!

67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration because they could not talk to a real person – most of us can relate to this and whilst companies look to streamline and cut costs with increasing use of technology, human interaction is put on the back burner.

These days there is little to choose between companies, with competitive pricing and similar products and services.  So what exactly is there that you can do differently and better, to help you stand head and shoulders above your competition?

Improve your customer service!

Investing in your customer service process could be the simplest and cost efficient way of attracting and retaining clients, obtaining referrals and building pipeline for the future.

It’s vital to have the best communication channels with your customers.

It’s been said before; ‘You only get one chance to make a first impression’. And it’s true! Make sure you are treating each customer with value, individuality, and give them the time of day they deserve, and are paying for!

It’s more cost effective to retain your clients than to secure new ones!

Of course things do go wrong from time to time. The resolution process itself is an opportunity demonstrate your commitment to your customer. But do remember that it takes on average 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.

In a recent article from the Guardian, it was reported that if you impress a customer by resolving their complaint, they are likely to reward you with loyalty! Start improving your bottom line today by treating your customers like royalty, you will begin to see results.

Your Staff Matter too!

Traditionally we’ve been taught that that ‘the customer is king’, and ‘the customer is always right’.  Richard Branson turned this theory on its head recently by declaring that the most important people in his company are his staff.

Let’s think about this for a moment. By employing the best people, with great customer service skills, you are one step closer to providing the ultimate customer service. Having the right people in place, with the most relevant training can reap its own reward with little ongoing effort. The following statistics act as a reminder if nothing else…

•    5-20% Probability of selling to a new prospect
•    60-70% Probability of selling to an existing customer

The bottom line remains; there is no substitute for great customer service, that will in turn, produce great success stories for you and your colleagues.

Great customer service involves being interpersonal, having good communication, being empathetic to your prospects requirements and sometimes just going that extra mile makes all the difference.
With 78% of consumers having bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of poor service experience, it’s something that should be at the top of your to-do list.

Be Customer-Centric!    

In today’s competitive world, the importance of retaining your existing customer base and sourcing new business is more vital than ever. The facts are simple if you don’t treat your customers well, they can, and will probably go elsewhere for a similar solution…

Make sure positive engagement is your approach.

If you want to know more about how great customer service can improve your business, contact Ping Marketing today on 0330 041 4550 or email us at hello@pingmarketing.co.uk

We would love to talk your ideas over with you!

We also have a live chat facility. Visit our website to get in touch! www.pingmarketing.co.uk

Author Sarah Lewis

More posts by Sarah Lewis

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