Good customer service should be a mission of any business – viewed with the same importance as increasing shareholder wealth. Unfortunately, many businesses view customer service as a department.
It’s possible these businesses don’t understand they’re leading a tribe of customers; however, I suspect that many of them don’t care. There was a time when customers weren’t very well connected but those days are coming to an end – if not gone already.
No longer can an organization afford to mistreat a single customer – as that person might spread a devastating story about you – damaging your brand. But even more important – when your customers truly feel good about what you’re doing for them – they’ll tell their friends – your tribe will grow.
Here you’ll find a few questions to help you gauge the quality of your customer service:
- Are you passionate about your customers – passionate about providing them value and fulfilling their needs?
- Do you value your employees in a manner that flows through to your customers?
- After a business transaction – do you follow up with customers – to make sure they’re pleased with the transaction? We’re not talking about impersonal surveys here - a simple, personalized email from a real person to a real person is all that’s necessary.
- Do you periodically invite customers into your realm – to find out what they like about your business, don’t like or if they tell other people how great your business is?
- Do you surf the internet to find out what customers are saying about you and your company?
- Are your customer service specialists (if you have any) empowered to solve problems or simply “talk nice” to customers?
The sooner you understand you’re leading a tribe of customers – the quicker your business will prosper. When you learn to focus on properly building your tribe – your sales will grow. When you learn to quit destroying your tribe (pdf) – competition won’t be able to keep up with you.