Fix your customer service…before it breaks your bottom line

(This is a guest post by copywriter Tyjuana WilsonTyjuana Wilson is “The Communications Department” for small business owners throughout the world. Too busy to write compelling content for your website, blog or social network platform? Contact Ty for a quote. No obligation. (704) 750-1699 or info@tyjuana-wilson.com)

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We all can give at least one example of poor customer service stemming from a customer-merchant interaction. From the waitperson that didn’t get your order right, to the phone representative who, ironically, kept you on hold for too long. The first-hand accounts are sometimes enough to make one angry all over again.

Sadly, those in charge are often unaware of any customer service issues.  At least, not until it’s too late: frustration has lead to refunds, service cancellations and even lawsuits. Thanks to social media it only takes minutes to learn of a bad experience from a business, where customer service problems could have easily been eliminated with the right systems in place.

“It’s best to nip these kinds of incidents in the bud,” advises Michele Masterfano, Huffington Post contributor and Clinical Assistant Professor, for DrexelUniversity. “A solid response to a complaint can turn a devastating viral story into perhaps a minor event to manage and may even allow the company to have a good story circulating”
(source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michele-masterfano/customer-service-meets-so_b_3429428.html).

Are there cracks in your customer service? Learn how to mend them before your profit margin is destroyed.

How does the public see your business? One simple question will give you an idea on what others think of your business: “How likely would you be to recommend this company to a friend?”  This question usually calls for an answer in the form of a score between one and 10, with 10 being the equivalent to awesome.  Surveymonkey.com is also a great resource for those who want to ask their customers more questions.

Put someone in charge. What used to be a private conversation between business owners and customers has become a media nightmare thanks to Twitter, Facebook and a host of other social media platforms. Who has the time to address every single profanity-filled post or terrifying Tweet? A third-party consultant would be great for collecting these online opinions – and findings from the survey question mentioned above – and presenting the unbiased results to you.

Take action.  Now that you have received feedback from customers and a hired professional, it is time to do something. In a slowly-recovering economy nobody wants to think about reprimands or firings, but this is exactly what needs to happen if your employee is found to be at fault.  Likewise, a happy employee leads to a happy workplace; make sure those who work for you are being treated fairly and pay attention to their working conditions. Also, remember to celebrate milestones, from a birthday to the birth of an employee’s child. Don’t give anyone a reason to become disgruntled (at least, not on your watch).

Are you listening to your customers, before they talk to your competitor? Share what you’ve learned in the comments.

 

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