There is no doubt that 2009 has been tough, many businesses haven’t weathered the storm, many have profited on the situation and many have managed to stay afloat. Most have broke even and have to try and start a New Year with only positive hopes for where the economy is heading in 2010.
There is a saying that goes “it costs more money to find a new customer than to keep an old one”. In these times this is a good maxim to run your business by. Whether you offer a product or service to the consumer, or you are a B2B operation, taking care of your existing customers will pay dividends in these difficult times.
A bird in the hand…
Marketing to gain new business is tough, money is tight and competitors are being even more cutthroat in their campaigns. Can your business really afford to offer the world to gain a new customer?
Looking after an existing customer will benefit your business two fold, one they will be loyal to your business and continue to spend the disposable income they do have with you, and secondly they will not hesitate to recommend your business to friends and colleagues.
Look after your own first!
Your customers are your best marketing tool, for sake of paying attention to customer service in return your customer promotes your business free of charge!
Many businesses rely on ‘customer get customer’ marketing. Offering numerous referral campaigns and incentives, which are in itself a great way of generating new business, but this will only work if your existing customers are happy, the lure of a cheap gift won’t always swing it!
Unfortunately many businesses cut costs in their after sale departments at times of recession to concentrate on winning more business from a difficult market place. Sometimes this reduction in service will reflect badly on business, if an existing customer isn’t getting the service promised at point of sale this will lead to dissatisfaction and the loss of business going forward as well as potential referrals.
What does great customer service look like
So what does great customer service look like? A telephone that is answered promptly and politely, remembers clients names and details about them, calling a customer back within a set period of time, keeping in touch with a customer periodically, and making a customer feel important – these are all the fundamentals in customer service, there are many more that can be tailor made to your business.
The next time you hear a colleague answer the phone impolitely, or you may notice that they still haven’t called back a client, or they are avoiding a call from a difficult client – think about how this approach to customer service is reflecting on your business, would you treat a prospect like this prior to them becoming a customer? For the sake of avoiding a difficult conversation your colleague could potentially lose your business a customer, a customer which costs a lot to replace!
Make 2010 the year that your clients wouldn’t go anywhere else to do business, in 2010 Customer Service is King!