“It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it”. So go the words of the song. Something similar is true in business – having a good product matters, but the whole package of customer service and support that surrounds that product also matters . In fact research shows that companies lose customers because of poor service more than for any other reason.
The customer focused business therefore gives a high priority to customer service, in particular a customer focused business aims to exceed the customers’ expectations – to give them just that little bit more than they were expecting. In particular there are some simple, yet fundamental things that you simply must get right. For instance:-
- don’t overpromise. If you say you can do something and you can’t then you will lose the customer’s trust – which is only one small step away from losing the customer
- honour your commitments – do whatever it takes.
- work weekends if you have to but don’t let the customer down
- admit your mistakes – then put them right
- treat customers as you would like to be treated by your suppliers
- capture and record any complaints. Learn from them. Improve your processes as a result
- give simple, clear, written confirmation of what was agreed with your customers
- make sure your company is easy to contact, phone, fax, email
- train and empower front line staff
However don’t make the mistake of substituting service for poor quality products. If the product is poor, no amount of good service will help keep the customer.