What is Customer Service? Before we define customer let us define a customer and service. A Customer is a person who buys a product or service. A customer may not necessarily be the consumer since they might be buying for someone else who will consume the product or service.
A consumer is the customer who buys a product or service to use themselves or uses the product or service purchased by another. The consumer is the end user. Attention must be paid to customers because they are the ones who bring money into a business that helps you run the business and makes profits in the end. Without customers, no matter how great a product or service you have, your business will fail.
Service can be segmented into two categories:
- Hard Quality Service
- Soft Quality Service
Hard Quality Service
Hard quality service is the product or service that you sell to your customers. The disadvantage of hard quality service is that anybody can copy the way you package your product, price, location etc.
Soft Quality Service
Soft quality service refers to how you sell your product or service to your customers. This is what determines whether a customer will come back or not.
- Do you smile when you serve them?
- Do you greet them or do you just ask whether they have a smartcard or would like to pay by cash or Credit card?
- Are you courteous enough to know their name and greet them by their name?
- Do you send them birthday wishes? What else do you know about them?
- Do you keep your word to your customers?
- When you fail to keep your word are you quick to apologize sincerely?
The best thing is that nobody can copy how you smile, greet and give attention to your customers. When an organization trains its employees on developing a culture of soft quality service and retains it from top management to ground level then it wins.
Customer service is how you sell your products or services. It is what causes a customer to come back no matter the distance, price, location or competition. They come to purchase your products or service not because it is convenient or price is low but because they are willing to buy only from you because of how you serve them.
When you offer exceptional customer service then you reduce advertising cost by more than 70% because word of mouth from a satisfied customer not only brings you a new customer but more loyal customers than an Advert on any media.
The key to success in your business should be to turn around the tables and focus on your customers. Whether a customer is calling to enquire about your products or services or window shopping you should give them all the attention you give to your best customer who gives you the highest profit margin. You never know who is asking about your products or services.
Even when you send a quotation for your products or services and they don’t give you the business, don’t hang up. Make a call to them the next day and thank them for the opportunity and considering you as a potential organization and establish a good relationship with them. Even when you don’t make a sale, make sure you become a friend for when number one fails to deliver, they will call you next but only if you have established a good relationship.
Business succeeds because of loyal customers who make repetitive sales. For a customer to make a repetitive sale, they must get something from you; satisfaction. At the end of every working day know this and practice it. Know that it is not the number of customers that you serve in a day that counts but the number of satisfied customers who will be willing to come back tomorrow even when your competitor opens their business next to you and offers your product or service at a lower price than you.
Creating a Customer Service Culture is all about focusing on satisfaction of each and every customer. It is about daily evaluation of the customer satisfaction and noticing the customer who never came back and asking why and working on those reasons so that even if you never win the one you lost, you prevent losing another one.
I hope the customer who comes to your business today will receive a big smile from you, a warm greeting, greet them, introduce yourself with your name as you ask theirs and make sure you remember them so that next time when they come you greet them by their name, when you them change you are courteous enough to say, “Thank You for shopping with us, welcome again.”
The author is an International Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and author.