Every business – even business-to-business enterprise – has customers. Their customers are the lifeblood of their business; without their patronage, the company will collapse.
With this in mind, providing outstanding customer service should always be a top priority. However, there are times when it matters more than others. The following are six instances where a company’s customer service apparatus must exceed the usual expectations:
When large sums of money are involved
A customer calling about a faulty toy or bad-tasting sandwich should be taken seriously. But given the low cost of the purchase, they’re unlikely to express extreme distress and displeasure. After all, it’s only a $3 yo-yo or $5 value meal. Anyone willing to go to war over that probably has other more serious issues happening in their life. But when someone is spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a product or service, it’s important for the company to do everything they can to resolve any disputes. Whether it’s buying a new car or making sportsbook NFL bets, there should be an added layer of patience and understanding on the part of the company. Doing so helps diffuse the situation and may also help the customer come to their senses.
After a public relations disaster
Perhaps the CEO has been saying uncomfortable things on Twitter. Or the company was the victim of a major data breach. Whenever there is a public relations disaster, the need for outstanding customer service increases. That’s because customer service personnel are at the frontlines in terms of protecting the company’s image. The business is on thin ice in the eyes of the public, requiring customer service agents to go out of their way to remind folks that the company cares about them.
During a recession
When the economy is struck by a recession, consumers cut back on spending. Unless the products or services you sell are deemed essential, chances are your sales will plummet. You’ll need to do everything you can to convince as many customers as possible to keep buying what you’re selling. One of the best ways of doing that is to provide outstanding customer service. It reminds them of the reasons they started going to you in the first place and potentially convinces them that your products or services are more essential than they think.
When competition is stiff
In addition to price, customer service is often deemed a deciding factor when picking between two competing companies. If there’s competition in town and they’re stealing customers away, it’s time to step up your customer service game. By going the extra mile, you encourage more customers to stick with your brand. In addition to marketing prowess and competitive pricing, quality customer service will prevent a mass exodus to the other guys.
During the holiday season
The holidays are a stressful time of year for most people. It’s also a time when consumer spending goes through the roof. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why great customer service becomes especially important during the holiday season. Remind your customer service personnel of the tendency for customers to be short-tempered and grouchy when reaching out about supply shortages and service delays. Furthermore, explain to them the benefits of having consumers associate your company with positive experiences, especially against the backdrop of stressful times of life.
In the aftermath of mergers and acquisitions
Was the business recently bought out by a bigger company? Is it now a small piece of a huge conglomerate? If so, customers will be wary of any changes in product quality and service. That means the company needs to step it up in terms of providing great customer service. The reassurance provided by consistent customer service will convince customers that all is well despite the sale.
Whether you’re a mom-and-pop shop, large manufacturer, or behind-the-scenes B2B supplier, customer service is always critical. However, depending on the situation, quality customer service can matter more than usual. Is your customer service apparatus ready to rise to the occasion? If not, it’s time to get them prepared.
About the Author
Julie Steinbeck is a freelance writer from Florida. She enjoys covering topics related to business, finance, and travel.