Customer Service Skills Make an Impact on Profits

Small business owners are recognizing that delivering excellent customer service impacts their bottom line.

I was at a business conference last weekend and found it interesting that so many business leaders and owners were a bit surprised to realize the financial impact that delivering excellent customer service can make in their business – either positively or negatively.

Train your staff well.  Ingrain it into the DNA of your culture that the customer is the most important person in your business.  They are the ones paying your salaries and covering your business costs.

I’d love to hear your comments…….

On a side note, which would you prefer to see on this blog….. video posts, written posts… combination of the two?

Comments

  1. Sarah Gore says:

    Bravo. It is refreshing to “hear” the words instead of always reading, reading, reading. You make valid points that watchers will be able to circle back to you as a memory point. What resonated with me was the message about retention (2% raise in retention equals 10% reduction in operations costs) and the keeping the customer for life. I will always go to the company that treats me well vs. the one with the lower price.

    Well done. Regarding my preference….a combo of video and written posts.

    • I’m glad that you locked into the retention rate, Sarah. The retention is the only way for businesses to remain sustainable with the least marketing dollars spent. Retained customers form relationships with the company that are invaluable in terms of feedback, partnerships, and increasing referrals.

      You also made a very good point about noting something that most people feel, but don’t realize – they’ll pay more for being treated well, given that the product fills the initial need.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I enjoyed the video and the setting in which is was presented. This is a great addition to your website.

    I like the point about retaining customers and when you retain customers employers can use the money to for future jobs, benefits and incentive programs for employees. Happy employees project positive attitudes and can motivate employees to deliver excellent customer experiences.

    Best Regards,

    James Sorensen

    • Your comment is much appreciated, James. The profits gained by retained customers can be used for absolutely anything, especially rewarding the engaged staff. The staff are the main and public determining factor for the customer experience and they need to be treated as well as, if not better than, the external customer.

      Looking forward to hearing more from you. I’ve got some more video posts planned – with a twist. They are from the CUSTOMER perspective. Lots of insights to be gleaned.

  3. Kristina,

    I applaud your new refreshing way of getting your message across! ‘Reading’ blogs just got a lot more fun! And I am with Sarah: people will remember your words because they stand out from all written blogs (interesting as they may be). So, please continue videoblogging. Perhaps you can even enrich your video with notes, transcripts, graphs, metadata… it might make your content even more appealing.

    Oh, and I fully agree with your message: Good customer experiences (i.e. meeting and/or exceeding customer expectations) are crucial to build a loyal customer base.

    One question though. At one point you say that “70% of the time, the only reason your customers are leaving is because they were treated rudely. They didn’t feel that there was any connection.” Is this 100% correct? What research is this figure based on? Recent studies (among which the oft-cited Harvard Business Review study) hint that customers increasingly prefer quick and efficient customer service to human interactions for straightforward tasks. I would expect that a large part of customer churn can still be explained by flawed products, services or customer service procedures that prevent customers from accomplishing their tasks quickly and efficiently…

  4. I’m glad you enjoyed the video, Christophe. Changing things up always works towards providing a unique experience and I’ll be sure to include more videos in these posts.

    I’m glad you asked the question about the percentage of customers leaving due to the service experience. The number varies between 68% and 70%, depending on the study. A few years back, the American Society for Quality and the Quality and Productivity Center showed 68% of customers turned away only because they perceived an attitude of indifference on the part of the service provider. A recent whitepaper released by Right Now found that number had increased to 70%. The numbers remain fairly consistent across various studies throughout the years.

    I’ve seen some of the studies released by the Harvard Business Review showing that for efficiency is always appreciated by consumers. In practice, presentations, and anecdotal evidence, I’ve yet to come across someone who prefers to be processed as opposed to engaged. But, if I understand your point correctly, customers prefer efficiency, but never at the price of aloof or indifference.

    Thanks for the thought provoking dialogue. I look forward to your next comments.

  5. I’m glad you enjoyed the video, Christophe. Changing things up always works towards providing a unique experience and I’ll be sure to include more videos in these posts.

    I’m glad you asked the question about the percentage of customers leaving due to the service experience. The number varies between 68% and 70%, depending on the study. A few years back, the American Society for Quality and the Quality and Productivity Center showed 68% of customers turned away only because they perceived an attitude of indifference on the part of the service provider. A recent whitepaper released by Right Now found that number had increased to 70%. The numbers remain fairly consistent across various studies throughout the years.

    I’ve seen some of the studies released by the Harvard Business Review showing that for efficiency is always appreciated by consumers. In practice, presentations, and anecdotal evidence, I’ve yet to come across someone who prefers to be processed as opposed to engaged. But, if I understand your point correctly, customers prefer efficiency, but never at the price of aloof or indifference.

    Thanks for the thought provoking dialogue. It’s always very much appreciated.

  6. I’m glad you enjoyed the video, Christophe. Changing things up always works towards providing a unique experience and I’ll be sure to include more videos in these posts.

    I’m glad you asked the question about the percentage of customers leaving due to the service experience. The number varies between 68% and 70%, depending on the study. A few years back, the American Society for Quality and the Quality and Productivity Center showed 68% of customers turned away only because they perceived an attitude of indifference on the part of the service provider. A recent whitepaper released by Right Now found that number had increased to 70%. Although there may be a slight variance between studies, overall, the findings remain fairly consistent across various studies throughout the years.

    I’ve seen some of the studies released by the Harvard Business Review showing that for efficiency is always appreciated by consumers. In practice, presentations, and anecdotal evidence, I’ve yet to come across someone who prefers to be processed as opposed to engaged. But, if I understand your point correctly, customers prefer efficiency, but never at the price of aloof or indifference.

    Thanks for the thought provoking dialogue. It’s always very much appreciated.

  7. Thanks for sharing the links, Kristina. I will look into them.

    And you are right: I do think that customers prefer efficiency, but never at the price of aloof or indifference. It is crucial to constantly meet customer expectations, and it may be beneficial to exceed these expectations from time to time. However, it makes no sense trying to exceed expectations if you can’t meet the basics first.

    In the context of this discussion, you may find this discussion on the LinkedIn Customer Experience Management group interesting as well: http://linkd.in/cNfA88 . It answers (or discusses) the questions “What is the relationship between ‘having good experiences’ and ‘delighted customers’? And do you believe if customers have ‘good experiences’ that you create a R.O.I?”

    Kind regards, Christophe.

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