I’ve talked about Customer Service Philosophy before, and I would like to expand on my thoughts. I believe the heart of small business thrives on the idea that good service, for most businesses,starts with a plan. I gather that even for the large corporations, great service was a foundation in the beginning. Think about Sam Walton, when starting Walmart, his thoughts weren’t, “I have this great idea, I will sell cheap products, with no service, and long lines at check out.” He did not say to himself “I will grow the business by providing low paying jobs and a lousy experience”. Sam Walton most likely thought about his employees, customers, providing good value, and his drive to be more successful than rival companies. Remember, he started with with one store in Rogers, Arkansas (2010 pop. 55,000). It was a small business in every definition. So, where do so many businesses go wrong?
Many believe that large businesses have lost their heart, or rather they lost their service philosophy that they developed when they they were startups their. How you define yours can have a long term impact on the people and businesses you work with along with your success. At Contact One Call Center we work with a lot of small businesses and notice the owners and managers of these business seem to have better insight into customer service. I think some big businesses believe customers only care about price and convenience. Certainly there is some truth to those components being a factor in customers decisions. However, the point I am trying to make is; if your only competition is price in a small business eventually customers will find something cheaper elsewhere. I believe a thoroughly developed customer service philosophy can, and will create more loyal clients. These clients consider the big picture, they will return year after year, not for cheap prices but for the pleasure of doing business with people they trust. Businesses with a high level of service consider more than just the cost of goods, they consider their employees and their community. These entrepreneurs have values they want to pass on to their kids, values they want to share with others. A high level of attention to the customer experience adds value to the products and services a small business provides.
Developing a good customer service philosophy does not require complex analysis, in fact simplicity is better. Companies can and do have bad service philosophies Here are some key components:
- Consider the whole experience. From the moment the customer walks through the door or calls you on the phone, until the transaction is complete. Your policies and practices must be inline with your philosophy.
- When things don’t go as planned (and you will have problems from time to time) own up to them. Make it right with your client and learn how to make it better for the next customer. Learn from your mistakes.
- Understand the long term impact your business has on the community you service.
- Don’t be afraid to share good ideas, ingrain this philosophy in the people you work with and the people you do business with. This means working with companies that share your values. Sometimes this will cost more, that’s okay, businesses that share your beliefs will return the favor.
Here at Contact One we love feedback whether you are current customer or just passing through. Let us know what you believe it takes to provide great customer service. After all, feedback is one of the best methods in maintaining and running a successful business, both for the owner and customer.