I recently had the pleasure of reading “BAM! Delivering Customer Service in a Self-Service World.” Great customer service is of utmost importance to me, and I pride myself on providing it. But after reading the book and interviewing author Barry Moltz, I realize how much more I could (and should) be doing. As Moltz makes clear, offering customers great service isn’t altruistic or moral – it’s one of the easiest ways to make your business more money, now.
Why is it more important than ever to offer great customer service?
“Geography is no longer an issue – customers can choose to buy products and services all over the globe, at any time. What makes a consumer choose one company over another? Sustainable customer service is one of the qualities that separates one company from another in an increasingly indistinguishable world,” Moltz explained.
Satisfied customers stay with companies longer and refer more people, ultimately making you more money, explained Moltz.
“Many companies spend an incredible amount of money trying to land new customers, employing a few underpaid customer service representatives to assist the ones they do have. Where’s the logic here? Why not cultivate loyalty and a great name?” he asked.
In the past, if a customer was dissatisfied, he or she might complain to a few friends about the poor service they experienced. Today, with Facebook statuses and Twitter, the audience a consumer can reach instantaneously is enormous! Moltz cited an incident that occurred with United Airlines. After a man’s guitar was smashed in flight, he recorded a YouTube video about the experience. The video now has over 8 million views! Customers who rave about your product or service do much more for your company than paid advertisements.
What advice does Moltz offer to companies seeking to improve their customer service?
“Analyze what the consumer means to you. Many companies rely on clich?s like, ‘The customer is always right,’ that don’t really mean anything. Don’t undersell with the intent to then over-deliver; if you tell a customer you’re going to get back to them within 48 hours, and you call them after 12, they’re going to be relieved – not impressed or delighted. Make it easy for your consumers to reach you. Many consumers complain that companies are impossible to contact. Often, customers just want to be heard. Although they know you aren’t always capable of solving their problem, they need to feel like someone listened and emphasized.”
Having great customer service is challenging because the needs of different customers vary and change. And that’s why you need to your best to investigate what your customers need and want. Make it possible for customers to contact you through a variety of forms and mechanisms, such as phone, e-mail, letter, feedback form, etc.
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed
over 20 products in the past 30 years. Along with business partner
Andrew Krauss, Stephen runs inventRight,
a company dedicated to educating inventors about selling their ideas
and the skills needed to succeed. You can listen to the weekly radio show on inventing. Get In The News, list your invention to have media outlets find you for news stories.