Why Customer Service Matters
About 25 years ago, I owned a car I really loved. Unfortunately, like a lot of cars at that time, it wasn’t particularly reliable so I found myself at the dealer on a pretty regular basis.
One day I had scheduled a service appointment so I arrived at the dealer’s service department at my appointed time. When I walked in, one of the service advisors was talking with another customer, one was sitting at his desk going through some papers and another was on the phone. When he finished his call, he too started going through paperwork on his desk. In the meantime, the service manager was sitting in his glassed-in office, in plain view, reading the newspaper.
Nearly 15 minutes elapsed before anyone bothered to speak to me and, when they did, they didn’t even bother apologizing for the delay.
It may come as no surprise to you that I never had my car serviced at that dealership again. The dealership that I chose was further away and no less expensive, but they understood the value of customer service and always treated me like they valued my business.
According to a study entitled “Consumer complaint handling in America”, published by the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs, “Ninety-one percent of dissatisfied customers will never again buy from the offending company and they will tell at least 10 other people about their bad experiences.”
If you’re in a business where you deal with customers on a day-to-day basis, it’s crucial to keep this in mind. In fact, the same study says that “nearly 70 percent of those experiencing a problem don’t complain.” They just go elsewhere.
So here are a few simple tips for keeping your customers happy:
- Treat your Customers Right – Genuinely Interact
- Don’t Come on Too Strong – Respect Your Customers
- Always Listen – Hear What Your Customers are Saying
- Treat a Customer Like a Valued Partner – Communication is Two Way
- Build Trust – Alert Customers to Large Scale Changes, Good or Bad
- Be Transparent – Honesty is Crucial When it comes to Mistakes
- Follow Through on Your Word – Follow Up on Promises
- Recognize Responsibility – The Customer is Always Right
- Always Say “Thank You” – Kindness and Gratitude will Take You Far
Showing simple courtesy, listening to your customers, and offering flexibility are important tools in any campaign to develop and sustain customer loyalty. At Connectability, we view every day as an opportunity to strengthen our relationships with our customers. All it takes is an awareness that customer service matters!