The Running Commentary

The Customer Service trap

I often talk about good customer service and the difference this can make to a business and its future success. I hold a core belief that getting this part of your business buttoned downed and working well, will help you navigate any issue.  Not only will it help you navigate issues, but it is probably the best way to secure future business.

Today I wanted to talk about how good customer service is not only the domain of large corporate businesses. It must be the domain of any business, regardless of size. Now I can already hear you saying, this is obvious and probably more so for the small to medium business. Well one would certainly hope so, but this is not always the case.

My case study for how to do it:

Peppermill Café – Near the Crags just outside of Plettenberg Bay on the way to the Elephant Sanctuary.  This restaurant offers, in my view anyway, the best combination of excellent food, value for money and great environment one can find. I enjoyed it so much that I went back two days running.  The chef took time to greet everyone that arrived and the staff made one feel absolutely at home and certainly nothing was too much for them to do.  While we were enjoying our lunch, no less than two other tables took time to chat with him and each gave glowing reports of their experience.  I would highly recommend them, not only because the food is great and the value is brilliant, but their service and attention to detail are world class.

Many small to medium businesses offer what on the surface appears to be great customer service, but the simple truth is that due to their size often the owners are directly involved. What happens when they grow is that they lose sight of the service they gave and hand over their success to an employee, who does not necessarily share their passion.

In the small to medium size sector you cannot hand over your customer service experience to somehow who is not directly linked to the business in some way.  You need to employ people who understand the dynamic of working in a team where “all hands are on deck” and that there are truly no sacred cows.

Don’t fall into the trap of saying, “we deliver great customer service” because you, as an owner, are directly involved.  This may well be the case, but rather focus on delivering great customer service regardless of who is involved in the interaction.  Employ people who want to work in a small to medium size firm, remember that there are significant advantages for them if they are not just a number.

In short a focus on excellent customer service does not fall into the domain of a big corporates only, but needs to be the paramount focus of the small to medium size enterprise.

brandbusinessBusiness strategycustomer servicecustomersMarketing StrategyserviceStrategysuccess

Mike • July 19, 2012

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