Categorized | Business


Putting the “Customer” into “Service”

By Tom Irmen

We all know how to pronounce it, and most every small business owner includes it in their company’s advertisements, but unfortunately, very few entrepreneurs truly embrace it. But those that do experience a level of success that makes them the envy of their peers.

Genuine customer service is more of a personal philosophy than a catch phrase. It’s a core belief that everyone in the organization embraces. It means that your spoken word is more valuable than another person’s written contract. It means that your clients trust that you place their interest ahead of your own. It means going the extra mile. It also means that you don’t promise your customers a 100% effort, substitute a 70% effort, and hope that they don’t notice the difference.

It doesn’t mean that you’re perfect either or that you won’t make mistakes. But it does mean that you own your company’s mistakes and, that as owner, accept full responsibility. You don’t place the blame on anyone else.

In today’s competitive marketplace, many entrepreneurs may feel that they cannot afford to provide the high level of customer service that will truly differentiate them from their competitors. The fact is, you can’t afford not to.

The financial reality of poor customer service is that poor customer service costs far more than great customer service. The cost of returns, rework, multiple customer visits, time wasted, etc., not to mention a dissatisfied customer who freely shares their negative experience with countless others, is far greater than the cost of doing it right the first time.

And here’s another reality. Great customer service will probably cost you far less than you might have imagined. Why? Because mediocrity is so pervasive in today’s society that simply doing what you promised to do is often perceived by customers as great customer service.

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