22 Oct How to Make Customer Service a Competitive Advantage for your New Business
When entrepreneurs rush to start offering services or selling products, one of the key elements they don’t tend to put much thought into is the company’s customer service ethos.
While every business instinctively claims that customer service is an important aspect, how many have delved into the means of providing great service from inception?
At Business Setup Consultants, we have helped launch thousands of businesses in almost every sector.
Through our experience, we have seen a clear differentiator in what makes businesses successful and profitable in the long term. People become regular customers because of the extra things that you do and the special way you treat them.
Consumers have an infinite amount of options, give them a reason why you are better than a firm that is ten times your size!
Customer Service Importance
To illustrate how important customer service is to your business, let’s use the launch of a new beauty salon for ladies in Dubai as an example.
What if every customer that came to your business received a survey to see if they were happy with the service they received and if any improvements are recommended, along with a thank you note for their custom.
Imagine how your customer would feel if they received an email on their birthday thanking them for their loyalty along with an offer for the special occasion. The opportunities to connect with a client are endless; if you fail to establish that relationship, the customer may not have a reason to choose you over another established provider.
Think about your own experience; chances are that the last time you recommended a service or product to a friend or family member it was because you felt that it provided something ‘extra’ that made it stand out, in summary, the experience created a positive memory that stood out.
Top tips to keep in mind
- Transparency and clarity. If consumers cannot consistently understand your pricing model or product features, then you are doing a great disservice to your long-term interests. Lack of transparency can make the client feel cheated, even if it’s not your intention. Also, always set realistic expectations for your customers, promising something you have no intention or capability to achieve is a fast way to have single-transaction customers.
- Admit when you have failed. As a new business, there will be times when you make a mistake, or your product doesn’t deliver in the way it was intended to, after all, there is a lot of trial and error in any new business. Instead of sticking to your guns and deflecting the blame elsewhere, don’t hesitate to let the client know that you failed to uphold the standards that you hoped to deliver and will act to remedy it. Don’t default to battle mode, learn strategies to defuse even the most difficult of situations, so you don’t lose your client.
- Continuous feedback. Your customers can help you continuously improve your business through feedback. Every new business has unexpected blind spots, and if you develop a program to learn from the feedback, you will be able to implement ways to keep up with consumer sentiment. You can ask for reviews on platforms such as Google or Facebook to publicize how customers feel about your business.
The adage that you’re only as strong as your people is true – having engaged customer service-oriented staff who will go the extra mile when necessary is important for startups, particularly if they are in a highly competitive sector.
You may not have a 24-hour customer service call centre like some of the big brands, but you can teach your employees to tackle customer complaints swiftly without the layers of bureaucracy of bigger firms. Big businesses often make consumers follow their own procedures to tackle customer service issues, while as a startup you have the capability to be nimbler and more personable at the same time.
As the founder, you have the ability to set the example, if a customer feels he was wronged by your firm, what better way to tackle it then a letter from the founder acknowledging their concerns and finding a win-win solution.
When executed properly, customer service becomes a sustainable competitive advantage that increases client loyalty, decreases costs, attracts top employees and acts as a differentiator versus competitors.
When launching your business, speak to our consultants about how countless entrepreneurs have successfully established themselves by revolving their business around a strong customer service ethos.