It’s so important to have great customer service. It doesn’t matter what you’re marketing – I believe a company is only as good as its last customer. I recently had an interaction with a gentleman who had purchased educational materials from my company, inventRight, which confirmed this.
Peter was out of a job and changing directions. He had an idea he’d been working on for a quite a while. The inventRight system teaches individuals how to bring their products to market through licensing. We also offer one year of free mentoring. The inventRight students who take advantage of this offer are the most successful, whether they call infrequently or often. This level of customer service has separated us from competitors; I think it is what has allowed us to be so successful also. And our course is not inexpensive – the one year of phone support makes it a much more fiscally sound choice.
Anyway, Peter bought our course after extensive research and shortly thereafter, I called him. We always do a follow-up call after every new student comes on board because we want each inventor to know that the team is on his or her side. Peter was so surprised to get my call! And what he said next made me really proud.
He explained that his budget was lean and that before choosing someone to work with and get advice from, he had tried to learn as much about his or her services as possible. He had Googled my name and my company’s name, but couldn’t find any negative reviews. Not even one. He wanted to know how many years we had been in business. The answer is seven.
With the advent of the Internet, the consumer finally has a way of fighting back. Peter’s comment was that most companies aren’t in business seven months before being negatively discussed online. I like that the consumer has a way to respond to goods and services. It makes companies accountable. And I don’t think it’s something that we, as service providers, should shy away from or fear. Be aware and embrace it.
One way to insure quality of customer service is to manage the size of your company. Don’t let expansion replace the “little things”. Because more often than not, it’s the little things that really count.
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed
over 20 products in the past 25 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 ask questions and get advice on the inventRight forum, check out the resource center, and listen to the weekly radio show on inventing. Get In The News, list your invention to have media outlets find you for news stories.