How would you define your customer? When is the last time you thought about them? Do you now their beliefs and thoughts? What drives their actions?
Do you think of them as invited guests? What happens within the walls of your business directly effects whether that person will return and be a loyal customer. Keep in mind those walls may be digital ones depending on the type of business you run.
Customer service issues are the biggest reason you lose business. When a customer has a bad experience, she has the ability to fix everything from the CEO to the cashier with one decision – not to return or make a purchase from you again. Customer service fails when employees know that it’s an initiative and not an expectation. Is it just something you do or do you really believe in fixing the problem. It can’t just focus on policy and it can’t be inconsistent.
So what can you do? To begin with, you must understand that being customer minded isn’t just about fixing a problem. It’s about thinking about the customer before the problem occurs. You need to have a clear idea about why the customer matters (the customer writes your paycheck). It’s always about people. It should become an expectation for you and your employees. It’s got to be a part of your company culture.
You can move in that direction by simply changing how you think. Do you assume the best or expect the worst in these situations? This is a change that must come from top down. You’ve got to start personally thinking of your customers as a valued part of your business. It’s much less costly to retain a customer than it is to recruit a new one. Start today. Don’t put a band-aid on bad customer service. Address the problem, empower your employees and create an atmosphere of excellence.