What am I talking about?

Customer service.

I’ve often said that customer service is the one area a small business like yours can out-do the larger competition.

According to a recent article in The Drum, two thirds of the public (68%) have had poor phone experiences with big brands and 36% said this would definitely make them consider changing company.

The research, undertaken by Smith and Milton, focuses on the financial services where telephone remains a key customer service channel.

Although 40% thought financial services brands don’t listen to customer complaints, 39% thought they did. When you drill down into the results more closely they showed that less than a third of those aged between 18 and 24 believe brands pay attention to them (46% of 55+ year olds thought they did).

The research shows there is definitely room for improvement within that sector, but I think their results should also be heeded across all industries.

This is especially true when you consider that 71% of consumers, when asked whether poor phone experience would affect their impression of a brand, answered ‘yes’.

Are you listening?

Take a minute or two to think about your own customer service.

How do your customers usually get in touch with you?

Is it?

  • Telephone?
  • Social media?
  • Post?
  • Email?
  • Contact form?

What is their experience like?

Do you answer calls promptly?

Do you respond to all emails within 24 hours?

Do you have a dedicated member of staff manning your social media channels?

Are all available methods of contact clearly visible on your website?

We’re here to help you

If there’s one thing customer’s want, it’s a company they can easily contact and that responds quickly to their query.

You can make yourself stand out from the competition by offering first class customer service. That means your customers aren’t forgotten about the minute they buy from you. You have to be there for them all the time; offering them a free monthly newsletter that keeps them informed about tips, advice and offers, how about a courtesy call after their purchase to make sure everything’s OK?

Anything you can do that’s over and above what’s expected will win you fans and loyal customers.

So next time you’re phone’s ringing, answer it with a smile and make sure you go out of your way to provide the answers you customers are looking for.