Companies are made or broken by how they handle customer service, right? For the most part, perhaps. There are exceptions, however.
Many apps and online services companies today do not provide any customer service at all. There is no help chat option, customer service email address, or problem resolution phone number. There is no obvious way to get a customer problem resolved. But maybe that’s OK. In these cases, the product/service is free, so they figure customers can’t complain. You get what you pay for. Some of those companies offer a paid version that includes customer service, in case customers want more than a shrug.
And then there are the companies that offer service, but with a presumed lag time. They will only hire so many representatives to serve their customers. If you can stand to be in line or on hold for a 15th of your waking hours, and can forgive a dropped call or two along the way, you may get a resolution and this may feel like customer service. You deal with what you get, and try to binge watch “The Wire” while waiting to be served.
Poor service can even plague companies that build empires based on service. One almost monopoly failed miserably recently, scheduling a time-sensitive delivery, no-showing and then cancelling the order much later without explanation. I was charged non-the-less. The only resolution option was an 877 number. The Rep and then her supervisor tried to “contain” my complaints. That means, no real sympathy, no explanation, no taking responsibility, no resolution, no offer to make amends. Much like a stone wall – you reach it and your only recourse is to turn around and retreat. Oh, there is one recourse – GO TO THE COMPETITION!
Which brings me to my real point for small and startup businesses. YOU ARE the competition for all those companies that are service-challenged. Customer service is how you are going to win customers away from them, and earn repeat customers, referrals, likes, engagement, and a higher profit margin! Yes, you read that right - a retention rate of more than 5% will improve your profit margin by more than 25%!
So, while you are dreaming about your new business, your business pivot, or your expanded product line, take time to dream about how your customer service will be remarkable, excellent, awesome! Build it into your plan, and reap the rewards from your amazing customers!
If you need help, join us for the The Profitable Idea online course starting in October 2022. Contact us for more information!
All the best,
Amanda Weathersby, and Cynthia Flanders are Co-Leaders for the Profitable Idea LLC, which is now online!
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