Why Customer Service Is The New Marketing.

The value of providing world-class customer service in your business is now beyond doubt.

In years past companies would often stick their heads in the sand and hope that a dissatisfied customer would simply disappear…believing that their single voice wasn’t large enough to impact the business as a whole.

That approach never made sense. Today, we live in a world where customers can spread their influence and reach thousands of others in an instant through social media, the head in sand, cover your eyes and hope approach, can now be detrimental to a business.

To help you ensure that your business provides the best possible customer service and experience, here are 5 ideas for you to consider.

1. Everyone must know how to respond. Just because you or management understands your company’s mission statement and view on customer service, doesn’t mean everyone in the organization does. Put your customer service principles down on paper. Share it with all employees and encourage discussion around it. Customer service should be an on-going conversation at every business…and you should always be on a quest to continually improve it for your customers.

customer service is marketing2. Reward those that practice. Find those people in your business that your customers talk about. Or that continually bring in more business, or resolve more issues…these are people doing something right. Make them an example. It will encourage them to work even harder and those around them will see that management takes notice when the right things are done. This simple idea can transform a whole organization and have everyone working to provide a better experience for customers.

3. It’s not about satisfaction. Jeffrey Gitomer is known for saying that companies need to get beyond ‘satisfaction’ and start generating ‘loyalty’ with their clients. This is done by providing WOW experiences and creating an environment that constantly impresses your customers. Go beyond what they expect. To do this, think about what the status quo is in your industry for every area of your business that touches your customers and then figure out how you can up the ante and deliver more value than anyone else.

4. Real leadership. Everyone, as in every single person, in your organization can influence the customer service your company provides. Robin Sharma talks about the “Leader without a Title” and how “your job is just a J-O-B if you make it one”. What he means is that regardless of whether someone is in a marketing job, works in sales, or reception, employees at every level can and should be encouraged to lead and provide customers with the best experience possible.

5. Forget policies. If you’ve ever heard someone say to you, “sorry, we have a policy against…” then you will already know what I’m getting to. Your company very well may have rules that you want followed regarding what you can and can’t do. To your customers however, telling them you can’t do what they want because of a “policy” is meaningless. They don’t care if you have a policy. Companies that provide world-class customer service empower their teams to work with their customers and go above and beyond the ‘normal’ to ensure their customers’ happiness. That doesn’t mean your customers are always right or even that you have to give them everything they ask for. What you CAN do is your best to provide an amazing experience for them. And when you can’t, simply tell them so in a human way. Not that you can’t because of some “company policy.”

You may be reading this, and I hope agreeing with some of the ideas, but also saying to yourself, “this point isn’t applicable to my business, it’s good for the hospitality industry, but surely this doesn’t work at our technology/manufacturing/insurance business, right?” Wrong.

Every business, regardless of industry or location can and should put their best foot forward to provide their customers with an amazing experience. If you don’t, your competitors will.

Michael Zipursky is a direct marketing consultant, author and founder of FreshGigs.ca and Business Consulting Buzz, a leading resource with over 700 articles, interviews and courses for consultants. To learn how to land more clients, increase your income and become a successful consultant, get Michael’s Free Consultants Toolkit.