Competition and choices are really the theme for the 2012 businesses who deliver degrees of customer service to their clients and customers. In Indianapolis and around Indiana, the challenges are glaringly obvious. Not only are you competing with like businesses for continued stability and growth, there is now the growing concern with discretionary income as gas prices climb to the four dollar mark and beyond.
People now will brown bag and make their coffee at home just like they did back in 2008. This hurts the local coffee and food establishments, and puts a dent in the profits of mid-priced restaurants which are the most challenged because their customer base is typically working families.
Being the best at what you do and exceeding expectations with every customer experience is always the best hedge when times get tougher. Here are some core activities that make your business stand out as you head to spring and the typical selling season:
- Answer phones promptly with a real person, preferably on the first ring.
- Respond to e-mails quickly, usually within two hours.
- Get a .mobi site for your business to capture the “device” customer who is looking for you.
- Track complaints and recommendations through a CRM process.
- Allow staff across the board to make decisions when there is a customer problem.
- Police Facebook and Twitter pages for both positive and negative interaction.
Use the power of social media to get an advantage in customer engagement and interaction. It makes sense to get the new bestseller, How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age. Part Two- Chapter One “Take Interest in Others’ Interest” is a great read on this subject.
By learning from your customers’ feedback, issues and problems, you will continue to grow in cutting edge customer service. Document the good, bad and the ugly for just 60 days and you will see critical trends and data that will help you benchmark continuous improvement.
Success comes through partnering with your VIP (very important patron) and maintaining that relationship. As Mr. Carnegie once said, “Influencing people is very important.” This mantra is your service model. It has not changed in decades.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Indiana, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Indiana. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.
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