The Customer Service Experience – Why It’s So Important Even in Your Small Business

Not too long ago I had to take my car into the dealership to get serviced. There was a recall and I needed some standard maintenance and I’ve always just taken it to a local dealership. I drive a Nissan, which is just a regular everyday brand of car but that’s beside the point.

I took my car in and was greeted pretty promptly and let them know that I would just wait to have it serviced, I’d brought my laptop and will take any opportunity at uninterrupted working time. So I ventured into the waiting room……iirkkkkkk. Stop right there. This is exactly where things went south.

The waiting room was decorated circa 1979. Old terrazzo-like floors, cheap office chairs, and bright fluorescent lights and blah-zah-ness. Nothing great at all, in fact it felt like an old car wash waiting room. I’d been there before, but not since my own desires to create exceptional customer service for my own clients. With this new perspective, I viewed the room in a different light….from that of a potentially satisfied or not-so-satisfied consumer. I glanced around to see the coffee that came out of vending machine and the CNN (constant negative news) glaring on the TV. 

Since I don’t watch the news at home, I’m surely not going to watch it now. I made a comment to the girl next to me that we were feeding our hearts with too much negativity and as her four year old played around the waiting room I asked if we could change it. Luckily, the allowed us to do just that.

As I started up my laptop to hop on the internet and check the email, I get a secured internet notice. I walk up to the blank faced woman behind the plexi-glass and ask for the password. Defensively, she states how “the internet doesn’t work in here.”  Um, excuse me?

And then it dawned on me like a flash of customer service lightning from above, this place doesn’t care about me!!!!

As soon as I realized that, I knew that this would be my last experience here, I wanted to quickly find a manager or write a letter explaining how bad the service was and as you could guess when I got my “rate your customer service” experience note through my email, I told them it was obvious they didn’t care about the customer and do you think they contacted me about this? Absolutely not and it’s been over a month since I wrote my little opinion down and hit send.

I can almost guarantee the manager at the dealership is thinking “sales are down, inventory isn’t moving so we can’t care about customer service, we are barely making it.”  And that’s EXACTLY why I am writing this.

You see, I am not a complainer. This isn’t even complaining, it’s simply pointing out the obvious situation and cycle of doom as I call it. The dealership business is slow and hurting, they have poor customer service. Because business is slow they think they cannot focus on customer service because they don’t have the profit margin/income too, so they don’t. So the customer service stinks, business doesn’t get better, people continue not to spend their money there…. Do you see the cycle?

Your business is what you make of it. You can tell yourself that you cannot afford to focus on customer service and continue to get the same results you’ve always gotten or you can slowly and steadily increase the customer service experience so people will start to notice that you care, come back over and over again, refer their friends and never go anywhere else….it’s a choice and it’s a choice a business owner needs to make.

The problem is that many entrepreneurs and solopreneurs think the customer service doesn’t matter in their business, but it does and oh boy does it! People notice when you care or when you treat them as just another number. You can start implementing sensational service as I call it and it doesn’t have to cost you anything. You can start with just a thank you phone call if the letter and stamp is just too damaging to your cash flow, or you can simply acknowledge people and recognize them.

Sensational service will differentiate depending on what type of business you have, but if you start finding ways to implement it I can guarantee that the lull that you’ve seen in the past will soon be no longer. Service does matter, but you’ve got to be consistent and genuine with it.  Don’t send one card and say “I’ve tried that.” Create a service system that you stick with and watch your business soar!!!!

One great way to stay in touch with your clients is to use a system like Send Out Cards, I started using this program over the summer and absolutely love it. It makes service simple and easy. If you haven’t tried it yet, try a free card on me! www.sendoutcards.com/75485

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1 Response to “The Customer Service Experience – Why It’s So Important Even in Your Small Business”


  1. 1 Alan Donald January 27, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Great article! I agree 100% with your views on customer service. It is sometimes SURPRISING (to say the least) that some businesses are still open DESPITE their lack of customer service!


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