The Time Is Running Out! Think About These 8 Ways To Change Your Customer Service

Henry Ford stated ‘The only foundation of serious business is service’. In lots of companies, the customer service function sits outside of the sales channel as it is seen in some way inferior compared to sales. Yet customer support is integral to sales results. Without good customer service you will have no repeat sales, and repeat sales are the most profitable revenue any business can generate.

The selling process is not complete merely as the customer has stated that he / she will buy your services or products. Through the entire entire selling process, the repair of goodwill is essential, but even more so after the purchase. No matter your customer’s previous sense towards your organization, the experience they have once they have bought will have a substantial impact on future sales. Customer service doesn’t complete the purchase; it reignites the sales cycle. A worthwhile maxim to adopt is: ‘a customer cannot be regarded as satisfied until we obtain next order.’

Whilst customer service represents the last aspect in many standard sales processes it could also be argued that it is the first element in a recurring sales process. Consider:

Did I make sure that the agreements reached with the client actually happened?
Did I attempt to up-sell?
Did I ask for a referral?
What records are kept and maintained?
What suggestions did I get about how exactly the customer benefited from my product/ service?
How could customer support be improved?
Why Is Customer Service Important?

There are a number of empirical studies on the worthiness of customer service and the effect of repeat business on underneath line. Frederick Reicheld and Earl Sasser explained that ‘if companies knew just how much it really costs to lose a customer, they would have the ability to make accurate evaluations of investments made to retain customers’. They discovered that customers become more profitable over time as increased sales; reduced prices of distribution; referrals; and the opportunity to up-sell all add to the bottom line.

Heskett, Sasser, and Scheslinger collaborated on a training programme to aid managers in understanding the life span value of customers and in addition advised on the significance of developing a culture whereby personnel are engaged to donate to the value chain. They postulated that worker satisfaction leads to service value which produces customer satisfaction and which results in profits and development. It is hardly surprising that happen workers produce happy customers.

What is Customer Service?

Is it just about smiling and being nice to customers? It is a good place to start but it can’t just be about that.

It is generally accepted that it is very difficult to deliver high standards of customer service. Some say we have not been educated for this – it is not our tradition. This observation is frequently justified by stating that since later Victorian and early Edwardian situations fewer and fewer people have worked in ‘service’. What was a major employment sector in those times has now dwindled to next to nothing.

While this has happened, employment has increased in manufacturing, product sales, administration, information technology, and social sciences. Over time ‘working in service’ came to be seen as a dead end job that nobody wanted and would simply take as a last resort. Subsequently, the label ‘service’ has nearly fallen into disrepute, and several people see giving services as something beneath them that lesser mortals do.

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