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    Why is Customer Service Important?

    Define Customer Service and Understand How to Deliver Exceptional Service

    Why is customer service important? Because unhappy customers will not buy from you. What is good customer service? To define customer service for your business you need to first understand how to deliver what customers want.

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    Understanding why is customer service important is the first step in delivering exceptional service.

    Providing excellent, and memorable, client support is important for client retention. Without exceptional support, your clients will not return. Average or mediocre support won't keep your customers either. And bad customer service will simply drive them away.

    As a business owner or manager, you need to ensure that your business is focused on understanding "what is good customer service" and how to define customer service. With that understanding in place, you can work on building and maintaining great customer service, and high customer satisfaction levels.


    Customer Service Tips

    #1: Provide support to your customers that is about them, not about you (for example, not "we're too busy, we're short a person, Tom's on holidays, etc.").

    #2: Always try to put yourself in your client's point of view (for example, if they need a product delivered at a certain time (and you can't make that time) then try to provide alternatives for satisfying their requirement).

    #3: Listen to your customers. Build a strong customer service management program by actively listening to your customers.


    Define Customer Service: What Kind of Support and Satisfaction Do You Deliver?

    1. Do a grid on your 'best' and 'worst' customers: what they do right; what they do wrong; what they do on a repetitive basis.

    2. Consider charging a premium for the most difficult customers; only if you can't help educate them to become your best customers; and only if you think they can't get a lower price for the same level of service.

    3. Or consider providing an incentive (credit) to have them behave in a more acceptable way (in time, on time, as per layout, etc.).

    4. Consider crediting a premium to the 'easiest' customers (that is, those clients who do it right the first time - provide the purchase order correctly, provide enough time to turn the order around, and more); only for specifically designated efforts within their control.

    5. Bill, and then credit, extras when you want to build stronger client relationships (this is the opposite of 'nickel and dime-ing' customers); for example, you quoted a job at $36,000 and then discounted to $33,000 because you actually produced it more efficiently than planned.

    6. Mark the credit as a special credit per you (your name). Track credits and discounts by each client (use a special tracking code/number). At the end of the year (or on a quarterly basis), review the total credits with your client - showing them how much you've saved them.

    7. If you don't have a customer relationship management (CRM) software program, then learn to use your MS Outlook Calendar (or other online agenda program) for reminders, updates, etc.


    What is Good Customer Service?

    Good customer service is directly related to client satisfaction. If your client is not satisfied, you haven't provided good services. In fact, customer service analysis during the last decade says that you need to actually delight customers, not just satisfy them.

    Just like product features and benefits can provide your business with a unique differentiation proposition, so can the delivery of exceptional client support. Make sure that you survey your customers on a regular basis to find out if they feel that your client support is exceptional and/or delightful.

    Understanding Why is customer service important? is important to building strong client relationships, and growing your business. You need customers to operate your business, and if you have highly satisfied customers they will often refer more business to you.

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    Why Customer Service is Important to your Business?

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    Who Defines Customer Service? Your Customer.

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    Why use Customer Tracking Software?

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    Effectively Manage Your Efforts

    Focus your customer service efforts on the highest value activities; these are the actions that will provide your business with the best return on your investment of resources.

    Review your sales by customer at the product or service level (by type). Then analyze your direct and full costs by product or service.

    Your goal in gathering, and then analyzing, the numbers is to compare the costs by products and services and then by customers; you want to know which products and services are the lowest cost and which customers provide your business with the best value.

    This will help you focus your business resources to provide the most service and support to high value customers.

    What's the gross profit margin by customer? Rank your customers not only by total sales but by profitability; and by sales by product or service.

    If you have specific products or services that you know are more profitable than others you will want to focus your attention on the customers buying those more profitable items and/or you will want to encourage customers to buy more of the profitable product or service lines.

    Note: A number of accounting software systems provide the capability to run these reports quickly and easily.

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    Delighting Customers

    Providing customer service that consistently delights (rather than just satisfies) results in long term customers.

    Your business' commitment to exceptional quality; the reliability and consistency of your service (your customers like to know that they can expect the same product or service, and the same level of support, on each and every order); and highly trained and knowledgeable staff are all key attributes to developing successful relationships with your customers.

    Focus your business on more than satisfying customers; make delight a number one goal.

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