Small Business Forum Explores the Value of Customer Service

Put away the bells. Pack up the whistles. It’s time to stop trying to “delight” your customers. Differentiating yourself through a low-effort customer experience is the key ingredient that builds loyalty.

At the “2014 Small Business Forum: The Next Generation Customer Service Experience Symposium,” presented by Bank of America, Mary Murcott, President of the Dialog Direct Customer Engagement Institute, discussed the impact customer service has on loyalty. Three distinguished panelists: Julie Hoffman, Furniture Marketing Group; Paul Koch, Frost Bank; and Rebecca Wright, Truluck’s Restaurant Group, added best-practice tips from their experience with customers. Insights Mary shared with attendees include:

  • Delight doesn’t pay. It costs 10-15 percent more and has a low correlation with repeat business.
  • Keep it simple. Make it easy for your customers to do business with you.
  • Words matter. Make your language positive and intuitive. Avoid cloudy, complicated words that customers won’t understand.
  • Be an advocate for your customer. As you solve a customer’s problem, provide solutions to avoid future hurdles.

The panelists gave attendees a deeper look into and shared best practices for how they approach customer service firsthand.

  • Providing a specific date and time a company will resolve an issue gives a disgruntled customer peace of mind.
  • Collecting feedback in the moment provides a chance to immediately address any concerns and helps avoid negative conversations on social media.
  • Employees who have a clear understanding that they play a vital role within a company or organization contribute to the customer experience.

In closing, Mary left attendees with these three key ideas to chase the ideal customer service experience: 1) make it easy to do business, 2) solve customers’ problems, and 3) tell them how to avoid another upcoming issue.

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The next 2014 Small Business Forum, presented by Bank of America, is September 25, featuring a panel of local recipients of the Malcolm Baldrige Award for Performance Excellence.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Small Business Forum Explores the Value of Customer Service

  1. I’ve always been a firm believer that the number one important thing you can do to retain your customers is to provide them with stellar customer service! Customer service is truly the new marketing!

  2. Great Article, thanks for posting this.

  3. Part of servicing your customers is knowing what you’re talking about and then imparting this wisdom here customers so that they can make smarter, war, well-informed purchasing decisions. We made an effort in the 20+ years we’ve been in business to do this very thing and we’ve reaped the rewards by having extremely loyal customers in a business dominated by fly-by-night entrepreneurs seeking to make a quick buck.