Service with a smile – using customer service as a marketing tool
Just how important is customer service? With a multitude of products and services easily available to us these days, great customer service is more important than ever. It adds value to the customer experience that in turn drives profits – and what’s brilliant about it (especially for small business owners) is that it doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming!
Excellent customer service is all about keeping the customer happy through identifying and meeting their needs. It can come in many forms (friendly staff, prompt delivery, progress reports, post-sale services to name but a few) and is a fantastically strong marketing tool that should not be overlooked.
Why is customer service such a powerful marketing tool?
- It impacts profit – paying attention to customer needs and preferences is vital for increasing sales and obtaining repeat business. Failure to do so may mean the loss of customers and consequently, profit.
- It builds loyalty – outstanding customer service adds value to the customer experience which in turn can support building relationships and creating brand-loyalty.
- It’s resource-efficient – retaining existing customers is significantly easier than finding new ones. Great customer service aids retention and is therefore an efficient use of (often limited) resources.
- It builds brands – a positive customer service experience frequently leads to recommendations which have the power to build reputation and brand (equally, a negative customer experience can damage or even destroy a brand). With social media sites now such a large and influential part of people’s daily lives, experiences can be shared incredibly quickly and have a wide reach.
Case in point
A personal experience with the printing of my new business cards provides a perfect example of just how important excellent customer service is. I initially placed an order with a well-known (though shall remain un-named!) printing firm and the result was well, unusable! The print quality was shocking, the text was blurred and they had even printed the bleed lines onto the card! I am still amazed that the cards were sent out as a finished product.
MOO to the rescue!
Recommended to me by the lovely ladies at Zambezi Digital – MOO helped me out of a scrape. Once I explained the situation, they guaranteed a personal quality control check of the cards before they sent them out.
They kept in regular contact throughout the process, picked up and resolved a complication with the artwork file format and I received my new cards without a hitch. One happy customer! And here I am telling you about my positive experience with Moo.com Free PR for them, a loyal customer in me (why would I go anywhere else?), and so their business (and profits) happily continue to build.
It’s not rocket science
Great customer service is not rocket science, but the little things do mean a lot. The trick is to understand the role it plays in driving business growth and leverage this knowledge to create positive customer experiences.
Do you have a customer service tip that you’d like to share? That little extra something that keeps customers coming back? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share the best ones in a follow up post. We’d love to hear from you!
By Paula Hutchings from Marketing Vision.