During difficult economic times service matters more than ever. Let me tell you why…
When times are good, people make decisions quickly and sometimes don’t notice your efforts. In tighter times, people move more cautiously, and notice every extra effort that you make.
When people buy during an economic downturn they are extremely conscious of the “hard earned” money they spend. Customers want more attention, appreciation and recognition for their purchases, not less.
In tough times, people talk more with each other about saving money and getting good value. “Positive word of mouth” is a powerful force at any time. In difficult times, even more ears will be listening. Be sure the words spoken about your business are good ones.
Giving great service in tough times makes good business sense. So how do you actually achieve it?
Here are a few simple ideas you can use…
- Use quality service to differentiate your business from your competition. Make a real difference by providing personalized, responsive and “extra-mile service” that stands out in a unique way which customers will appreciate and remember.
- Learn to manage your customer’s expectations. You can’t always give customers everything their hearts desire. Sometimes you need to bring their expectations into line with what you know you can deliver. Another way to manage customers’ expectations is with the tactic called “Under Promise and Over Deliver”.
- Bounce back with effective service recovery. Sometimes things do go wrong. When it happens to your customers, do everything you can to make things right again, as soon as possible. Restoring customer goodwill is worth the price in future orders and new business.
- Appreciate your complaining customers. Customers with complaints can be your best allies in building and improving your business. They point out where your system is faulty, and where procedures are weak or problematic. The complainer gives you a chance to reply and set things right.
- Make time to stand on the other side of the desk or listen on the other end of the phone. Be a “mystery shopper” at your own place of business. Or be a customer for your competition. What you notice is what your customers experience every day!
Finally, remember that service is the currency that keeps our economy moving. “I serve you in one business, you serve me in another.
YOUR CHALLENGE: Focus on becoming known as a stellar customer service organization that just happens to be in your line of business!