Your growing business has a good problem when you get so many customers that you have too little time to pay attention to individual customer needs like you used to back when you had a few loyal customers. This customer service decline may harm your company more than you realize.
It can be easy to give more focused and better personalized service to fewer customers. A simple scribbled "thank you" on an invoice is a snap for the office manager when you have 50 customers you see every week or two. As your reputation grows, so does your customer base. The trick is to grow along with your customers before there is a customer service decline.
Companies should believe that no customer is replaceable. This is true whether you have one customer or 1 million. If you have a laid-back attitude that personalized service can be written off because losing one of 1 million customers is not a big deal. Instead of seeing each consumer as a person, customer service decline seeps in when your employees attach personality types to groups of people who exhibit similar behavior. Instead of talking to Heather, a housewife of four who stays at home while her husband runs his law firm, customer service agents talk to Heather-like women who are stay-at-home wives.
Sometimes, it's better to recapture those precious moments from early in your growing business when the customer in front of you was the most important thing. When your agents are on the phone, they need to be engaged with the customer at that particular moment; nothing else matters. The next person in line does not concern you until the customer in front of you is 100 percent satisfied. A potentially satisfied person second in line is not as important as the customer in front of you who you have to earn business from first. It does not matter if the satisfied person takes five seconds, five minutes or five hours. This attitude prevents a customer service decline from starting at all.
Putting individual customers first creates repeat customers and repeat business. These repeat performers are the lifeblood of any business. Brand loyalty can come from discounts for first-time customers and satisfied repeat customers alike. Business owners must back up their lower prices with excellent service, or else the customer service decline sets in when employees assume that lower prices are the only reason why people come back.
Companies may get too big to think that one customer out of thousands matters, because the next one is sure to stay with the business. However, that potential could create a lackadaisical attitude that may lead to customer service decline. Losing customers means losing revenue.
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