To survive and prosper in today’s environment, and to advantage of opportunities when better times return organizations should change their cultures to growing, tending, and replanting their customers, rather than slashing-and-burning them. They should treat every one who has done or is doing business or could do business as golden, because they are: it is their gold they are spending. They should also welcome each opportunity to interact with customers and prospects as their lives depend on it, because they do. A firm is as only as good as its last interaction, sales, and product made, delivered, and used. – To Get Through Crisis Serve, Not Burn, Customers, By Brendan B. Read, December 15, 2008
The above quote is taken from an article in CRM Daily. It serves as an accurate reminder of how important the service we provide to customers truly is. Our business lives depend on our customers and the second we forget that, we risk the failure of our business.
No matter what your title is, you are in the field of Customer Service. The operative word here is SERVICE. According to dictionary.reference.com, one of the definitions of the word “SERVE” as a verb is – to render assistance; be of use; help. This definition needs to be in the forefront of our minds each and every time that we interact with our customers, either in person, by phone, or via the web.
Our product or service is filling the need of our customer. We need to make the process for the customer as easy as possible and MUST do everything that we can to help our customers through our processes and systems.
By doing everything that we possibly can to exceed the needs of our customers, we dramatically increase our retention percentages. It has been documented that a two percent increase in customer retention has the same impact on our bottom lines as cutting costs by 10%. In the long run, that means more jobs and company expansion. Also remember that your retained customers are going to be a referral source for your company. If you impress them, they will pass that message along to those who matter.
Excellent customer service is not simply meeting the needs and expectations of your customers. You must find ways to exceed their expectations and experience as often as possible. What is new today will become tomorrows standard expectation. Keep looking at everything in your organization and double and triple check each process to ensure that it is keeping the Customer Centric at all times.