10 May 2010

Why is customer service so important?

We were interviewed by Social Small Biz on the topic. Here is the link to the post:


A lot has already been written about customer service and I will not attempt to give you the full 50 pages answer: that can easily be found in text books. Instead I would like to focus on 3 aspects which all have critical impact on the financial health of a business.The first point is that customer service can be instrumental in managing the price sensitivity of customers. At a time when the economy is struggling and the fiscal pressure is increasing, everyone wants a good deal, but the explosion of voucher sites, discount codes and special sales is disorientating customers. They do not know when to shop, are constantly being moved around by comparator sites and
above all do not necessarily buy what they want to buy and certainly not when they want to buy it.My take is that this will only last a time before people retrench to their favourite product and service providers. They know that they might not necessarily obtain the best cut-down price but it will be a fair price with some guarantee that the product works. Above all they will appreciate being valued as customers and will obtain the service they expect day in and day out.The second aspect is all about stakeholder retention. Our focus here is on two key stakeholders, customers and members of staff but the argument can be extended to many others such as suppliers and shareholders. We all know how difficult and expensive it is to win over a new client and similarly how difficult and expensive it is to recruit and train a new member of staff. The client’s and the employee’s value grows exponentially over time provided the former continues to buy and the later works hard to deliver the products and services. The fate of the two is very likely to be closely linked as good customer service and job satisfaction often work in tandem.Finally good customer service is a fantastic marketing tool. More often than not the cost of delivering good service is considered to be a dispensable administrative expense. Treating customer service as a marketing effort would give an additional sense of purpose to all involved and could be a massive source of new sales for a company. In particular, with the emergence of social media, customer service has genuinely been given a raised profile and can be used as a new marketing channel.

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