Every business, no matter whether it is large or small, exists to make money. It makes money by selling its products or services to people who have specific requirements. These are customers.
How much money an organisation earns and how successful it is – and continues to be – depends entirely on how well they deal with customers and their specific requirements. There is no point in having a great location with fantastic products and competitive prices if the customer service component of the business is sub standard. Customers wish to be acknowledged and treated with respect. They are willing to spend (often) substantial amounts of money to have their requirements met and if your organisation will not or cannot meet these requirements then they will find someone else who will.
Customer service is therefore the single most important aspect of any business and should never be neglected. However many businesses fail to fully understand the importance of this area of their operation and as a consequence lose customers to competitors with better service standards.
Always remember that while your organisation may be in business to earn money, without a steady flow of customers there is no business.
Looking after the customer should be the number one priority in any organisation. Staff must show an interest in their customers and take advantage of every possible opportunity to build a relationship with them to ensure they keep coming back.
Greet and Serve Customers
Customers are without exception the most important part of any business regardless of whether it is a small retail shop or a large professional or government organisation. A great location, excellent products or services, best prices and a modern shop or office are of little use if no one wants to do business with you. You would soon be closing your doors. A good customer service policy therefore is important to any organisations success. It cannot be taken for granted. If you do not provide a good service to your customers or clients – then there are many other competitors who will. Make it your business to increase your organisation’s customer base by offering them friendly, courteous and welcoming service.
Prioritise customers ahead of other work duties
Customers are just people who come in to your shop or office and buy the things that you sell aren’t they? You’re not trying to be their friends … it’s unlikely you’ll ever socialise with them … so why is it important to build a relationship with them?
A relationship is defined as ‘the way in which two or more people or groups regard and behave towards each other’ . What this means is that in order to build a positive relationship with a customer a positive behavioural standard must be employed.
If your organisation is not interested in whether customers come back and do business with them on a regular basis, then building a positive relationship with them doesn’t matter. If, on the other hand, your organisation cares about its image and reputation and wants customers to keep coming back and bringing their friends with them, then building positive relationships is essential.
Many organisations will spend substantial amounts of money on advertising and promoting their products and services – with some degree of success. Nothing, however, can compare with repeat business and word of mouth (WOM) recommendations – where a good customer will always shop with you and will bring their friends and family along too. Repeat business and WOM cost nothing (apart from initial relationship building!) and have often proven to be the most effective form of advertising and promoting. It is a question of getting your customers to like dealing with you and spreading the word.
Good customer relationships are based on;
honesty – can they believe what you are telling them?
trust – do they believe you have their interests in mind?
reliability – do you provide a consistent service and good quality products or services?
A customer is someone who has a specific requirement for a product or service and seeks out a business that is likely to have that product or service in order to satisfy that requirement.