Every business looking to flourish in its industry recognizes the importance of giving their customers center-stage in their dealings. They acknowledge that success consists in satisfying the customer in order for them to continue patronizing the business; but beyond that, the customer could also be their downfall.
Knowing this, managers, sales people and business owners should strive to put in place structures and strategies that strive towards customer satisfaction. However, if you are a part of the governance of the organization, you should firstly need to have the following understanding well established:
The understanding that business sustainability is not a mere expression but is very vital. This is particularly relevant in today’s business world where a lot of companies are winding up for several reasons some of which are beyond their control.
The understanding that the sustainability of the business is inevitably predicated on the way you treat your customers. Their perception of the company will depend on that and it will determine whether they will come back.
The understanding that the customer could actually be an “extension of the business”. Their impression is what they will pass across to others who might not have known the company.
The understanding of the human aspect of customer-ship: as an entrepreneur, you are not just seeing customers as a means of increasing the company’s revenues. The customers still remain human beings whether they are dealing for themselves or on behalf of another corporate organization.
Basically, good customer service can be defined with respect to the size of the business and the customer base that it has. But the fundamental thing about customer service is getting to know what the customers think about your products and services; this knowledge prepares you to take the necessary steps toward improving the image of the company and thereby give the customer every reason to want to come back again. And in coming back, the customer is likely to introduce his/her friends to the company.
Excellent customer service can be organized along the following lines:
1. Customer support/technical support: this is a set of provisions aimed at assisting customers in the way they spend on and use a product.
2. Social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and other social networking services are taking people’s concerns far with regards to the marketplace and are greatly determining the ways in which people make purchases. Organizations are now hardly hidden; customers can search them out online and then get to ask other people their experience with the company. That way, recommendations are given and gathered through social networks about products and services. Usually, individuals can say whatever they want about a business, without fear or hindrance. Of course this kind of interaction can be heated up as some participants on these social networks can exaggerate what they are saying. Nevertheless, more and more companies are not taking the opinions expressed on the social networks lightly. They are looking for ways to profit from these conversations by taking part in them.
3. Automated customer service: customer service may be provided by a sales person or by automation. Automated service is provided via Internet. Automated service does not necessarily cancel customer service by persons but rather complements it. Automation helps companies ensure non-stop service to customers. The automated method can be based on artificial intelligence. In this case, online assistants appear online as avatars.
4. Possibility for instant feedback: many corporate organizations have been putting in place feedback packages that allow them to capture feedback at the point of experience. It could be done by electronic mail, mobile call or SMS.
5. Cooperation among departments of the same business: sharing of information among sales, service and marketing departments. Technology plays a role here in the sharing of the required data. Thus, feedback from a technical support centre can assist marketers in knowing the specific services and products that customers are longing to have.
6. Customer help desk: having this help desk at the premises of the company or in its various branches could be useful to clients that choose or need to revert to the company on a one-on-one basis.
Good Customer service is one of the major pillars upon which a business thrives. Defective customer service in an organization leads to it losing its customers. Irrespective of how powerfully and wonderfully a business is organized, if its customer service does not care about the expectations of its customers being met, it will not take long before it closes its doors.