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Print Posted by SMEA Posted on 11/08/2017 in Clients

How’s your customer service?

How’s your customer service?

Just the other day at the home of an elderly friend they received a phone call from the mechanics where their car had been for the last week waiting for parts. The mechanics apologised that they still hadn’t received the part and would unlikely to do so until Monday. Then the mechanic said:

“I am really sorry it’s not ready yet. Are you ok? Do you need someone to come help you and take you to the shops or anything?”

That very simple and very human question, struck a chord. That small business owner understood the impact that taking away the transport would have on the day to day life of his client, and wanted to do whatever they could to lessen that burden. It was kind hearted and respectful, and it was brilliant customer service.

Now it would be very cynical to say it was a calculated move. It was not. It was human. However, it cannot be denied that the very small gesture left the customer feeling well respected and built trust between the business and the customer. That trust and respect will keep that customer coming back, time and time again.

Consumers have a choice. As small business owners know, competition is fierce. Not only from the big chains, but from the Amazon’s of the world. But there is one thing that they cannot offer – personal, in-person service. They can claim “personal” experience, but that does not replace the direct contact. The smiles, the conversation, the appreciation of the business is felt directly.

Customer service is imperative to the survival of your business. Providing quality goods and services at a good price, is not often enough. People will be more likely to come back to the business repeatedly for the customer service. The smile, the ‘how are you’, the phone call with an update on their order. It’s not always easy, but it’s imperative.

So how is your customer service? What would you rate it? If you asked your customers on their experience in dealing with your business, what would they say? Do you know the answers to these questions? Do you understand the perception of your business in the community and its impact on your bottom line? Perhaps its tome to ask yourself just what is the experience of your customers and how can you make it better?

The mechanics question was not necessary or expected, but it was an appreciated one. Though my friend did not take them up on the offer, as they had other arrangements, you can be sure that they will be going back to that mechanic and telling their friends to do the same! A small gesture by that small business owner will lead to not only repeat business but new customers!

The SME Association of Australia provides a comprehensive platform for the collaboration of businesses, organisations, associations, schools, higher education bodies and government to ensure SMEs are equipped to connect, grow and prosper. Find out more at http://www.smea.org.au/. Join our SME Community, follow us on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn and subscribe to our podcast SME Radio

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