Customer service: Company Culture Change

    October 9, 2006

Customer service is an important aspect of any business. Without customers to purchase the business’s products and services, the company cash flow dries up faster than a rain shower in the Sahara.

While most business people instinctively understand the importance of customer service, they all too often forget that customer service is part of every employee’s job.

Customer service a concept that should be undertaken by everyone within the organization. Many business people neglect the less obvious aspects of customer relations, and focus only on the front line personnel. In the retail industry, the importance of customer service is well known. The sales staff are trained in helping meet the customer’s needs, and a customer service desk is placed in many stores. Most organizations rarely think beyond that basic contact level.

The direct customer contact people are only part of the customer service aspect of a business however. When people buy your products and services, they are purchasing more than is shown on the cash register tape. A bad experience with a billing notice or a delivery truck driver very often creates a dissatisfied customer. These unknown problems cause many a buyer to vote with her feet right across the street to your competitor. Customer service extends far beyond the store walls.

Management has a responsibility to instil good customer relationships throughout the entire company culture. Everyone from the President and CEO to the maintenance staff are part of the customer relationship team. Everything your business does, or doesn’t do in any transaction, is considered by the general public in assessing your organization and its brands. A shoddy product production line, an unclean place of business, or a terrible accounts receivable technique can destroy the trust given to your company brand. Think in terms of quality and excellence in everything that the company does when discussing customer service with your staff.

If your business is not acting in the interests of good customer service, you won’t have customers for long. Let the customers lodge complaints about your products and services. A business blog is a great way to facilitate this interaction between the business and the target market. A business blog develops a conversation between reader and blogger, who is now a real person and not some faceless corporation, that nurtures a trust based relationship.

Completely open and transparent two way conversation has many powerful benefits. One that is obvious is the company listens to its customers, whether the news is good or bad. A benefit that might not be so obvious at first glance is the building of trust that the company and its brands are seen as doing business the right way. Openess builds trust, and people buy from those whom they trust to deliver on their brand promises.

Make customer service a way of life for your business.

Your bottom line will look much brighter as a result.

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Wayne Hurlbert provides insigtful information about marketing, promotions, search engine optimization and public relations for websites and business blogs on the popular Blog Business World.

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