Customer Service (Do or Die)
December 14, 2010
Customer service is the most important ingredient in growing and maintaining your business and the customers you have. In fact as a small business it is imperative and your most substantial weapon against your larger competitors. As a small business you have the space and need to accommodate your customers and build a great relationship with them. You can allocate that special attention that big businesses process out of their model to your customers. In the position of a small business the repeat business of your clientele is what will nourish your growth into its maturing years.
Customer service encompasses a wide array of policies from communicating your message at every point of contact, to actively building relationships, though some vital points in business growth outlined below should be a priority of any growing business.
The Follow Up
One way to build a strong relationship with the client is through the follow up, a proactive relationship building technique that done appropriately communicates your diligence and earnest concern. Following up with your clients communicates the message that you care and that you are available to handle any problems that might arise, furthermore it expresses the notion that you are proactive in problem solving and that you want their business. It is a simple gesture that equals a great deal in growing your business.
Imagine for a second if your cable company, your electric company, or your bank called you to inquire as to if the services they offered were adequately meeting your needs. With a single phone call like this would you not feel an affinity to this electric company or that bank, and the likelihood of you switching to a competitor reduced. The simple act of following up with your customer fosters a business intimacy that solidifies the relational interaction in business engagements. It impresses your company signature upon the mind of your customer which results into a repeat customer.
Communication is the basic building block in any relationship, marriage, friendship, and business, especially business. Your customers know more about your business than you. How is this possible? Well your customers are the ones on the receiving end of all your efforts, therefore they are the candidates most suited to communicate any lacking or strength you as a company might posses. The break down in communication between companies and their customer
base is the most debilitating factor in the company-customer relationship.
Making sure to keep the communications lines fluid and open ensures that your efforts will contribute to what really matters, as well, it gives your company a rich and constant results analysis feedback, and further will impress your customers to know that you are taking the proactive and deliberate approach in listening. You can increase your communication-feedback channel with your clients via devices such as social media, ie: facebook, twitter, etc.
ARB. (Active Relationship Building)
Another way to build business through customer service is through active relationship building (ARB) measures. Relationship building is a very important part of your growth, your larger competitors manage this activity very well, hence their size. Though as a small business you can offer a more intimate relationship through your own signature ARB. Active relationship building (ARB) is where you can be creative, but keeping in mind that the goal is to build relationship and trust with your clients. Apart from following up, ARB strategies requires that you constantly look for opportunities to build relationships.
Think to yourself:
- How can I build a relationship with the new customers I will engage today?
- How can I build relationships that will drive me business and drive me leads?
- Whether handing out brochures or business cards, the answers will vary depending on the particular work or service you are in.
Other ways of building relationships.
As a small business owner you can employ many strategies in building relationships from point of sale processes, such as having your employees say or do different things to employing a outside help, such as companies who specialize in such fields. Nevertheless, understand that the relationships you build are the nutrients that your business thrives on.