With Christmas just two days away, we’re all hoping that we’ve either already purchased the perfect gifts for loved ones and friends or that we’ll be able to do in the waning shopping hours. But if you’re a small business owner, I suggest devoting part of the remaining days of 2014 to thinking about how you can give your customers the best gift of all in 2015 – superior customer service.
It is all too common these days to hear consumers complain about receiving poor service at businesses far and wide. Complaints seem to far outnumber any raves we hear about customer service. Our expectations are so low that when I have an issue with a company, I enter the discussion of how they can make things right with the assumption that it’s going to be a long, painful process that probably won’t bring me any satisfaction in the end.
According to a study from Genesys, a leading provider of call centers and other customer contact channels, poor customer service costs the overall U.S. economy $85 billion annually. And here’s another study finding that brings the cost of poor customer service down to a number that’s easier to grasp for individual business owners; the average value (in one year) of each customer relationship lost to a competitor or abandoned (meaning the customer decide not to purchase from anyone) is $289. Furthermore, more than 65% of U.S. consumers said they have ended relationships with businesses due to poor customer service.
How many customers walked away from your business in 2014 because they didn’t receive good service? What do customers think of your customer service and what could you do to improve it? Is providing superior service part of the DNA of the company you’re building or is it an afterthought? Have you empowered your employees to quickly resolve customer problems?
Ponder these questions as we move into 2015 and find ways to set your company apart in the new year through superior customer service. This will be the very best present you can give to your small business in the coming year.
This is our last post of 2014. Happy holidays to one and all and we’ll see you in 2015!