Tips for using customer service to market your business
If you are a business owner you may be surprised to learn that many of your customers will return to you not for the fact that you offer lowest price but for the reason that you offer the best in customer service. Study after study indicates that many customers choose to patronize a different store simply because of the poor service they have received. In addition, studies also indicate that when customers have received poor customer service they are twice as likely to report this to friends and family then if they receive quality customer service. The bottom line is that if you are not offering the best in customer service you are generating a great deal of negative marketing about your business.
Business owners need to take the time to determine if they are doing everything they can to offer their customers the best in customer service. You want to make sure that your customers know that you appreciate them and their business. Businesses that remain indifferent to their customers will soon find themselves shutting their doors and taking down their website. A customer retention program not only serves to keep your customers coming back but also can be a valuable marketing tool. The bottom line is that when you offer the best in customer service you are sending out a valuable marketing message. Here are some tips for using customer service to market your business-
- Make it a priority-You need to make sure that everyone that works for you is making customer service their top priority. The reality is that while your happy customers can help you grow your business, unhappy customers can do significant damage to it. You need to make sure that you are delivering what your customers really want and then doing it over and over again.
- Know what your customers' want-Customers not only expect you to keep your promises but they will expect you to deliver more then you promised. Today's consumer is highly savvy when it comes to where they spend their cash so savvy business owners need to respond by under-promising and over-delivering. You also can keep your customers happier by allowing everyone in your business to be able to handle customer complaints. This gets rid of the frustrating and annoying statement of "Let me get a manager".
- Have a process to resolve problems-Whether you set up a complaint box, send out customer surveys or periodically call your customers you need to know how things are going. Do not assume that if you don't hear anything then everything is all right. Your customers will most likely not tell you but instead just shift their money and their loyalty to your competition. Once you know what is wrong you can respond quickly and fix it. This sends a message that you care about your customers and they will repeat that to others as a positive marketing message.
- Ask for customer recommendations and referrals-Once you have a solid, positive customer service policy in place then you can begin to ask your existing customer base to help you market. You can do this by asking for recommendations and referrals. This way you are using the happy experience that your customers have had with you as a basis to market to other potential customers. You can also offer an incentive for your existing customer to bring in new customers. A free gift or a coupon for a discount can serve as a powerful incentive for your existing customers to bring in potential customers. Just be sure to specify that the new customer has to buy from you in order for the existing customer to receive the incentive.