Mike Bowman explains why sometimes the best service is no service.
You’re a business owner or an employee, but you are also a customer, right? That gives you a lot of exposure to various degrees of customer service.
Can you think of an excellent experience you had with another company?
What about a bad experience?
Now ask yourself how your business compares. What do you think your customers are saying about you? (Not sure? Do a Google search on your business tonight.)
One way to ensure your customers or clients are raving not ranting about you is to redefine the old, commonly accepted meaning of customer service.
The outdated way to think of customer service is resolving a customer’s problem after the sale. We tell customers our response time to their problem is faster than the other guys, we hire a customer service department to take their problem calls, and we provide liberal return policies when they are disappointed with their purchase.
Today, successful businesses can’t afford to fix problems. Margins are too tight, and problems cost too much. Problems will erode your valuable time, resources, reputation, and cash. Rather than paying to fix mistakes and problems, invest in preventing problems.
Take the time to truly understand what is important to your most valuable customers. Don’t assume you know what is important to your customer; there’s a great chance it is much different from what is important to you. Study, learn, ask questions, and then anticipate what their problems will be.
Create solutions and quality controls within your business that aggressively seek out those problems and eliminate them long before they become your customer’s headache or disappointment with you.
Do you value your time? You can bet your paying customer does. In fact a common discussion in 2011 has become how customers value time just as much as they value their money.
Deliver a problem free service or product to your customer and you are giving them a bonus of time. Time they didn’t have to spend fixing a problem, calling you, exchanging an item, or demanding a discount. Time they may spend telling their neighbor about the excellent service you provide to your customers..
About the Author
Mike Bowman is the owner and publisher of The Quarter Roll, a personal finance magazine that makes financial education entertaining.