No Shortcuts in Providing Customer Service
I remember many lessons that my parents and elders taught me when I was a young girl. One of the lessons that still resonates is, “If you are going to do something, do it right or just leave it alone”. I quickly learned that nothing seemed to agitate them more than me doing an incomplete and half-hearted household chore; it usually meant that they would have to go behind me and perform the task from scratch which would take twice as long to complete (my incomplete performance and their time to do the job right).
When we consistently take shortcuts to providing great customer service, we do not fulfill the assignment for which customers and clients hired us so they have every right to fire us (take their business to the competitor). When their issues/requests are unresolved and unsatisfied, some businesses have quickly learned that it is the fastest way to become infamous for being known as the business with terrible customer service.
Two main goals of any business is to satisfy customer needs and to operate successfully to earn a profit. Falling short in these practices will cause a business to lose consumer demand which could ultimately result in losing market share, employee layoffs, and perhaps bankruptcy.
Poor customer service has a negative impact on businesses of any size and in any industry, however, small businesses probably suffer severe adverse effects faster than large corporations for obvious reasons.
We should all be quick to take responsibility for the mistakes we make (ignoring a customer’s request, slow/improper follow through, failure to be proactive, poor attitude…). The faster you take ownership of the mistakes, the faster you can take steps to correct the problem. Tell your customer SPECIFICALLY why they should give you another chance “to get it right” then follow through with them. Demonstrate your sincerity by being the best organization at delivering exceptional customer service. You want to be the template that your customers use for customer service comparisons.
Get in the habit of staying in touch with ALL of your customers. Send a handwritten note congratulating their son’s hockey game win and their daughter’s soccer victory.
In conclusion, when we fail to carry out our life and business assignments proficiently, the costs rack up quickly (time efficiency, human resources, and operating expenses) and sometimes it is not possible to recoup the losses. As a result, the business may take losses on its books, it may suffer a lost opportunity to provide services/products and it may suffer a lost opportunity to capture and retain loyal customers.
There are no shortcuts in customer service.