In challenging economic times some businesses cut costs by cutting corners on their customer service. That is exactly the wrong thing to do. In tough economic times, how we serve our clients is more important than ever. Here is why:
1. When people buy during economic hard times they are very conscious of how every dollar is being spent. Clients want more attention, appreciation and recognition for their purchases, not less.
2. Clients want to be sure they get the maximum value for the money they choose to spend. They want easy to use and fast access to support and education about the products and services they purchase.
3. Clients want to be sure that their purchase was the “right thing to do.” They want regular follow-up and speedy follow through with any complaints or issues they might have.
4. When times are good clients move fast and sometimes don’t notice your efforts. In tighter times, clients move more cautiously, and notice any extra effort you make.
5. In tough times, people talk more with each other about getting good value. “Positive word of mouth” is a powerful force, even more so in difficult times because more ears are listening.
So if giving great service in tough times makes good sense how do you actually achieve it? Here are some suggestions you might consider:
1. Understand that your client’s expectations rise and change over time. Do you have a listening channel with your clients that enable you to really understand what they want and value?
2. Set and achieve high service standards. Use service quality as a differentiator for your business. Know your competitors standards and exceed them. Think of ways to surprise your customers with extra service.
3. Things do go wrong. When you have a service recovery opportunity use it as a chance to “do a little extra” to make things right. This is your opportunity to show your true service intentions.
4. See things from your client’s point of view. Put yourself in their shoes.
Clients are becoming ever more demanding, and in most markets they have more options to choose from than ever before. Your service is the differentiator between you and your competitors. Make your service a priority starting today.