When difficult situations arise in retail, regardless of who is responsible, it's important to remember that your customers are the driving force of your business. Perfect customer service all of the time may be an unrealistic goal, but it doesn't mean that you shouldn't aim for it anyway. For more on the subject, we've selected this excerpt from an article by Sue Cockburn, originally featured on Social Media Today.
As a small-business owner I'm grateful for those occasions when I experience poor customer service.
Unfortunately, they happen way too often. But I'm grateful for those occasions nonetheless because, when I'm on the receiving end of poor service, it serves as a strong reminder of why each and every customer needs to receive first class care!
It's easy to be nice at first, to be nice when they're nice, to be nice because we think we'll make a sale. But where the rubber meets the road is when the potential customer becomes a customer, and a problem occurs. What happens then is what makes the difference.
While customer service has always been important, it is even more important in today's online age where our brand reputation, good and bad, can spread quickly and be unforgiving.
Great customer service experiences are reminders of how good it feels to be treated respectfully, with value and care. When we're on the receiving end of poor customer service it can be a reminder of what NOT to do and how important it is to always give the client the benefit of the doubt, whether we feel they deserve it or not.
A reputation that has taken months and years to build can be pretty much destroyed in a few minutes by a bad customer service experience. Conversely, brand reputation can be strengthened even further by a bad experience handled well.
Customer service has always been important. But we are seriously operating in a new climate today. The online world makes the good, the bad and the ugly sides of customer service much more visible today and as a result has even greater potential to positively or negatively impact our bottom-line.
It's virtually impossible to please 100 percent of our customers 100 percent of the time. But it's a noble objective to desire and pursue! And if we're serious about this, having disgruntled customers, whether their concerns are legitimate or not, will not sit right with us.
In the end, great customer service is not about being perfect and it is much more than a smile. But aiming for unachievable perfection and to deliver customer service with a smile is a good place to start.