At the risk of being redundant with recent reports, gas prices are on the rise.
What does that mean for your customer service? I've been reading where some small businesses, primarily delivery services, have started doing one of two things: including a gas charge in their fees, or simply not servicing areas that are more than 30 miles away.
I just mentioned in last week's post about not cutting your prices, and I'm here to tell you that charging a gas fee isn't the route to take, either. Customer service is the key to ALL business success. If you keep the customers happy, they'll keep coming back for more. Remember this was discussed here. If for a moment you can look past the increased costs of doing business and envision ways to keep up with the demands of the customer and help stabalize cost, embracing technology is the way-to-go.
Maybe now is a good time to evaluate the customers that you serve. This isn't a one size, fits all approach. The project manager at XYZ Accounting may not mind conducting project meetings via video teleconferencing (VTC), whereas the sales manager at XYZ Foods breaks down at the thought of having to appear on camera...
The first step is to realize what technology options such as gotomeeting and web video conferencing are available to you and which would be a good fit for you and that particular customer. Once you understand this, have a conversation with the customer about how much you value their business and how important it is to you to keep costs down and being able to keep the processes moving, then introduce your new meeting and follow-up options.
I know that I may be making this sound more dramatic than it is, but my motive is to get you to think of what's possible outside of raising your fees or charging extra fees to visit the customer. I'm BIG on customer service and I don't think that the customer should have to pay to receive this feature. Get creative and keep the lines of communication open. You'll be glad you did.
Keep the learning going...pass it on!