Customer service used to be a fine art. You could go into any shop and get friendly, reliable service. However, with the cutbacks in labor budgets and the introduction of automated money machines and answering systems, businesses have lost many opportunities to interact with their customers positively.
Build Trust with Customer Service
Customer service is a way to gain your customers’ trust. Every interaction with a customer is a chance to build on your relationship with that customer, so anyone in a company who deals directly with a customer has the opportunity to cement that relationship. Good customer service starts at the moment a potential client walks into your business and continues during the initial interaction. A customer will appreciate a welcoming atmosphere, and your success may hinge on the greeting your receptionist offers your client. If you deal with customers only over the phone, this becomes even more important. They can judge your attitude based only on your tone of voice. If you solve their problems in a pleasant, efficient manner, they will remember you.
Small businesses have a chance to shine in the area of customer service. They can offer the personalized customer service that large companies can’t. One of the main reasons that people like to deal with small companies is that small companies want to develop a direct, long-term relationship with their clients. When you deal with a small company as a client, you often meet the owner and many of the key decision-makers in the company. Whether you are a sales or customer service representative for a small business, your one-on-one interactions with clients will keep them coming back. Business and individual clients want to have vendors that they can rely on to keep their word and that solve problems quickly.
Customer Service Can Close the Sale
Customers do not always shop for price alone. Customer service can be the deciding factor in their choice to do business with you. Many business owners assume that all clients make decisions based on price alone. This assumption is completely false. A large portion of customers make their final decisions on where to buy based on customer service. Customer service becomes a higher priority to a client as the amount he or she is spending goes up. This type of situation may be a great opportunity for small businesses, and a customer service representative can make or break a deal based on his or her attitude.
All of the improvement in technology for businesses in the last few years has not negated the need for human contact and personal relationships between customers and vendors. Customers cherish a good relationship with their vendors, and they pay for it with return business and referrals. It is much easier to earn the trust of a new client that has been referred by another satisfied client. Therefore, a customer service representative is one of the most valuable employees in any company.
About the Author
Nancy Anderson is the communities and article editor for Beyond.com.Â Nancy has 10 years experience in the online job search business with Beyond. Nancy’s team produces dozens of articles every month for top internet sites.Â Follow Nancy and the Beyond team on https://twitter.com/Beyond_com.