As small business owners, you have a lot riding on how good (or how poor) your customer service department is. Sometimes as a sole proprietor or solo employee, you are the customer service department in addition to all of the other hats you may wear! Anyone who has started a business knows that you’ll quickly be out of business if you do not keep your customers happy. People are just not loyal anymore. I call it the ‘revolving door’ syndrome. The ‘revolving door’ syndrome is where you work with a client once and they go somewhere else because that other company charges $1.00 less than what you charge.
If you are like me, this is frustrating and makes you wonder why it is so difficult to keep people coming back to you. It is even more frustrating to see people do this when you know you have provided them with the best quality of service that you could. Realize this happens in every business that fails to implement the one often forgotten element of retention. Too often, we are so caught up in trying to get customers that we too often forget about the customers we already have. We focus all of our energies on the toughest part of building the business which is getting customers. Yet we forget to do the easiest part which is follow up or customer service.
Where does that leave you?
Well it depends on how you handle your customers or clients. Most business owners put a lot of emphasis on getting the customer and keeping them happy during the transaction. To be honest, that’s the easy part. The hard part is the follow up!
In any industry, before someone will do business with you, that person wants to know you are someone they can trust. I’m not saying that you need to become their long lost buddy and best friend when you meet them or talk to them but you should, however, show a genuine interest in them, their needs, and also their concerns. That’s were the real customer service begins.
In my book “From Minimum Wage To Getting Paid” I teach people the importance of following up with their clients. You see, it’s easy to get them but it’s hard to keep them. So many people drop the ball and forget to follow-up. They think that because they get someone who shows interest or asks for more information then that person should be ready to buy something from you. Thinking that this is how it happens will only cause frustration. Even if that person is not ready to purchase your product or service at that time, don’t you think that since they showed interest that they may want to work with you at a later date? How would you know that if you fail to follow up and provide them with good customer service?
Believe it or not, when you follow up and show them that you really want to earn their business you are actually planting a seed. One that may not grow for several months and sometimes even longer but that customer or client will remember you when the time comes to make that purchase or transaction.
As a business owner it’s important that you keep in mind that the stability of your business and the amount of income you make will be in direct proportion to your personal follow-up and customer service. Make follow-up and customer service your #1 priority! As you build your business in the future, make certain you follow-up and follow-through with customer service. Your wealth depends on it!