Boosting sales by gaining and keeping customer support has always a key factor in the success of any business.
It is important for product suppliers and service industry operators to create and enforce a positive and consistent customer service policy. We all remember examples of how we were treated badly by a business or how well we were provided with first class service by employees of another business.
These days, people conduct more and more or their interaction with businesses online. From paying our utility bills with apps to booking holidays and escapes, the primary way that people can relate to a business is through its customer service team.
Business people should regard their customer service personnel as sales people. Their actions will often dictate whether a client or customer has a positive or negative impression at the end of an interaction. The support team can often turn a complaint and the ill will that goes with being let down in some way, into a favourable impression.
If customer service people take the time to listen to what people are saying, they can often resolve issues promptly so as to enable the caller or potential customer to buy a product or service rather than leave forever. Service people can actually generate new business by being attentive and kind to both aggrieved callers and happy customers.
There is a higher level of dissatisfaction in the travel industry than other service businesses because there are often many variables that are out of the control of the operator. Connecting flights could not arrive, buses can break down, staff can call in sick or weather might take a turn for the worse. Inevitably, there will be complaints as people's hopes, desires and travel plans are disrupted. It is often up to service people to offer compensation, free tickets or some other benefit. Where something has gone wrong, it is better to accept that the customer has a right to be unhappy and start to provide a suite of compensation measures. People want to be treated fairly.
In the entertainment and gaming industry, people spend their money and allocate time to having a good time online using the latest gaming apps and websites. When things go wrong, they want an instant fix so that they can resume their game. Customers expect the best online casino experience when they choose their online entertainment provider.
For customer service operators in the retail industry, it is important to offer service and a positive outcome when people bring back products that were purchased as gifts or as part of every day life. Myer stores have a very liberal refund policy. People can bring back many items even when their is no fault. Consumer protection and warranty laws provide remedies for customers but at Myer, the store itself goes way beyond legal obligations. Myer has found a way to turn unhappy customers in to future willing buyers. Myer's no regrets policy is probably the best example of customer service.
The take away message for business people is that they should regard their customer service tools as a marketing initiative.