Customer service 101: People before profits

Growing Your Biz
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As the explosion in social media networks continues, word of mouth will have a more powerful effect than ever on whether your audience is hearing positive or negative things about your business.

That’s because the opinion of a friend or acquaintance is more trusted than any other type of communication or advertising and it can have a profound impact on how potential customers view your company – not to mention your bottom line. So it’s important that you not only provide quality products or services but that you also respond to queries or concerns with consistent and top-notch customer service.

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Entrepreneur.com suggests that you create a customer service policy early on in the life of your venture to ensure it becomes properly embedded in your company’s culture.

Here are some customer service basics to think about and move on right away:

· Put your customer service policy in writing: “It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Something as simple as ‘The customer is always right’ can lay the necessary groundwork.”

· Give employees clear instructions: “[Establish] systems [that] will help you outservice any competitor by giving more to customers and anticipating problems before they arise” and make sure your employees understand how good service relates to the success of your company.

· Measure and reward: Develop a measurement of what superior customer service is and reward your employees for following through.

Inc.com offers another smart and practical idea: react before the customer realizes anything is wrong:

“Let’s say a diner hasn’t touched his or her food. If the waiter asks specific questions (I noticed you haven’t touched your chicken. Did it taste okay?) and replaces the dish or removes it from the bill, it is ‘exponentially more beneficial,’” says customer service expert, Andy Fromm.

You’ll find seven more practical tips for basic customer service here.

Has a customer service experience left you exasperated? Write us!

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