A huge part of business is about relationship so why not invest in the relationship approach with our customers? I usually measure my customer relations factor with a simple scenario: Following up well after the sale has been completed, and the invoice submitted and paid. That takes some dedication and it’s not easy. Staying in touch takes time and commitment and it‘s easy to get bogged down in getting new business and being most concerned about the next
There’s no escaping the fact that we must have a plan in place to touch our customer base. Coffee once a week, picking up the phone and calling from time-to-time, an eNewsletter or mailing out a holiday card every year, something must be done and it has to be planned or it just won’t happen.
When the economy is at its peak, many companies take a slash and burn approach to customer service because it seems that under every rock there are new business prospects just waiting in the wings. With the state of the nation slowing down, a slash and burn approach can upset end of year projections.
What is the cost of good customer service? Dollars aside, I think it’s about understanding what your customers value – it’s about sticking your neck out to give them what they want. Many things in life are measured by time or money. Most of us are more willing to give of our time than we are money and in the case of offering good customer service, I think it requires a little of both. It takes time to plan what you’re going to do and actually implementing the plan. The money part is usually consumed by the actual plan or by you taking the time to put the plan into action.
Whatever you decide, don’t let the cost of good customer service discourage you, get creative. There’s an abundance of options and ideas out there that have been created with people like us in mind who are out to take things to a different level when it comes to how we run our business. See what you can find.
Keep the learning going…pass it on.