This review was written by Eugene Kernes
Genre = Economics, Business
“Customer service has a huge influence on sales and cash flow. Customer service directly affects the attitude and actions of the team running the business. Customer service directly affects a business’s competitive advantage” – Kelly Henry, Introduction, Page 7
“They cause their customers to become advertising agents. They are the mouthpiece for the business. When customers feel valued and important, they want others to experience those same feelings, so they become excited to refer others.” – Kelly Henry, Chapter 2: How Customer Service Helps Your Business, Page 18
“Marketing is the price a business pays for poor customer service.” – Kelly Henry, Chapter 3: The 5% Bump, Page 24
Businesses need to be competitive. Customer service provides many of the business needs of revenue, effective teamwork, and a competitive advantage. It is a philosophy and culture that facilitates actions and attitudes of a service business that allows businesses to flourish. It takes little to provide great customer service, and as a reward the customer will be committed to the business. Customers who get a great experience refer others, thereby increasing sales. The focus of the business should be to make customers happy and solve their problems. Businesses need to strive to consistently treat customers with respect and to make them feel appreciated. Customers tend to stick with companies which provide great customer service.
Attracting new customers might be important which is why business focus on it, but they do not spend much on retaining customers which is important as well. Attracting new customers is needed when businesses cannot retain their current customers. The constant need for new customers is a major source of stress. Heavy marketing is needed when customer service is poor. The cost of marketing can be reduced, while increasing revenue by retaining more customers. Acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining current ones.
Customer service depends on how the customers are treated. To be treated with friendliness no matter the state of the customer. What is needed is to make them feel important. Making bonds with customers causes the customer to stick to the business, as it would take a lot more energy to forge new bonds with other businesses.
Claiming great customer service is not the same as actually having it. What matters about customer service is how the customer perceives it, not anyone else. To accomplish great customer service requires it to be done consistently in thought and effort. Inconsistent customer service is frustrating and confusing.
Firms need a product that others want. But customers are willing to pay more for products if they are provided with great service. Customers do talk about the business, which can be influenced by the kind of customer service they receive. Customer communicate to business their perspective, but to some it may sound like complaining. Customer, and former customers, are a great source of potential improvements. Knowing what not to do is important, as it is the negative experiences that tend to be remembered.
Even if it is a customer who has caused a problem, businesses need to keep their composure to keep a relationship with the customer. With problems, most customers want to be properly compensated for the trouble and will make reasonable demands, although some will take advantage of the situation.
It is difficult for employees to provide great customer service if they are being treated harshly. Employees tend to treat the customers the way they are treated by the employers. Treating employees well transforms the work environment. Resulting in enjoying their work, being more fulfilled, and with much less unneeded stress. Employees end up having to want to work, will be willing to do more to help the business, and will be better able to handle customers.
The book is easy to read and highlights the importance and impact of customer service. Useful guide not just for business, but for personal relations and government. But it makes customer service feel like a panacea. Customer service is seemingly undervalued, and even though customer service is extremely important, it does not mean it will solve all business problems.
Customer service is an advantage when compared to other businesses that do not have good customer service. But business tend to provide better products and services because of competition, which customer service is a part of the whole product. It may be that customers expect poor customer service, but as more business provide better customer service, customer will expect it to be the norm.
The basic claim of customer service is to smile and be supportive of customer wants. Although the author does state that it needs to be done in a non-creepy manner, but the problem is that the emotions being projected are not necessarily appropriate for the context. Smiling and having an uplifting attitude can be very wrong giving a different context. Treating the customer appropriately requires a more diverse emotional tool kit.
There are ideas that can be misused by not so scrupulous businesses. As it is perception of the business that matters, business can potentially harm their customer without customers knowing by the way the business communicates. Communicating in a way to avoid highlighting the potential hazard. When problems do arise, the manner in which a business communicates its problems can deflect or appear to be in the right.