What is the core… Or the heart of a business? One may say passion, perseverance, or hard work. But in reality- it is relationships. The relationship specifically- between that of business, and consumer. These relationships will indeed either make, or break a company.
So how, one may ask, do we build such a relationship?
There are many factors, but the one definitely most vital above all- is customer service. Time and time again I have seen small businesses inadvertently destroy themselves and their reputation, because of poor customer service. Personally, I feel that my belief in going above and beyond comes from working within the hospitality industry- specifically in high-end, upscale, fine dining establishments. I could easily wager and win much in profits by betting that when I come across someone that does not seem to understand how, or why they should go above and beyond- that they have never worked in hospitality, or at least not for any decent length of time.
Now proper customer service does indeed take quite a bit of time and investment. For this reason, if a business cannot devote the time required- then I suggest hiring someone specifically for this role. It may mean an additional cost, but it could be the make or break it point when it comes to creating the desired reputation to achieve success. Whoever is designated for customer service, make sure it is done right, and the first time. Kill them with kindness, give them value above and beyond what you believe should be done, listen to them without interruption (I cannot stress this one enough), and don’t end the conversation until they have declared satisfaction.
Many businesses believe themselves to be above this, but I can assure you, you are not. No matter how large, or how high quality or desired your product is, you are not. It has been declared that the best model of marketing - is word of mouth & reference. Which means, if you have poor customer service and reviews, then I can guarantee you no matter the quality of your product or service, that it will quickly get around that you are not a business that one desires to deal with.
For these reasons and more- go above and beyond. Take that extra step. Refund the purchase, give an extra gift, spend that 20 minutes listening to the client vent. For these small steps- will raise your company above the rest, and result in numerous more by the famously desired reference or word of mouth.
After all, what does it cost to give great customer service? Not that much! But in turn, poor customer service can cost you greatly.
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