So, here we are, almost wrapping up the third month of 2018 and this year has not been short of surprises for South Africans. The one topic that is still top of mind for most people and businesses is the 1% VAT increase that will be implemented from the 1st of April.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow for the majority of people who fall in the middle to low-income bracket and at a time when consumers are counting their pennies, customer service becomes more important than ever.
We read a lot about what good customer service is all about, so today I am going to outline four of the fatal customer service sins to avoid.
We have all read that upselling to an existing customer is much easier and more cost-effective than landing a new customer… especially when money is tight. The worst thing you can do is treat an existing loyal customer with indifference and a complacent attitude.
When there is too much red tape and admin involved in closing a deal, you face the risk of losing it. Yes, you need to be compliant with the various regulatory policies, but when a customer indicates that they are ready to sign on the dotted line, you need to have the pen ready and make the process as easy and painless as possible.
Hiding Head Honchos
When a customer asks to speak to the supervisor, the boss or the CEO, it means he no longer has faith and confidence in the people he has been dealing with. It’s pretty important for the leaders of the business to know this so they can fix it. When a customer is disgruntled, the last thing he wants to hear is that the head honcho has instructed the receptionist not to put calls through to him. Here’s a hint… that does not look good! Now I understand that he has a company to run but you can put processes in place in such a way that the customer feels that he is being heard by someone close to the CEO. If the leader of the business doesn’t care about customer service, you can’t expect his team to place value on it.
If you give an undertaking to a customer, stick to it. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Don’t create expectations you can’t meet. You set yourself up for failure by committing to something – just to keep a client happy and quiet – that you can’t deliver.
To quote Warren Buffet, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” And the problem is that many businesses don’t think this way. Perhaps it is time to consider if you or your employees are guilty of committing any of these sins and if so, how can you change and improve your customer service systems and processes.
If you are serious about your business you have to focus on what fuels it – your customers, because without them you have no business at all.