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Tim Millett
Published by Tim Millett
08 October 2013

Although a business may go through cycles of prosperity interspersed with more challenging economic times, the importance of quality customer service should always be recognised. Regardless of economic circumstances, no business should ever think that skimping on customer service training and quality will ever lead to a successful outcome.

There is a infinite number of reasons why customer service matters and can pay dividends.

Here we look at five of them:

#1: When times are tough and sales are down, customer service matters more than ever. Some business executives may mistakenly believe that at these times, a reduced number of customers make purchases and so it is not necessary to devote time and money to sales training and the up-skilling of staff in relation to customer service. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

In difficult economic times, customers are even more conscious of getting value from their hard-earned dollars. Consequently, customers want attention, information, appreciation and recognition for their purchases and loyalty. Therefore, you should be aware that they have higher expectations of you. Essentially, customers want to ensure that when they decide to spend, they will get true value for their money. Provision of good service will assist your customer to buy with confidence and will simultaneously enhance the image and perception of your company.

To ensure that your customers receive exceptional service, it is well worth investing in customer service training for your staff. Not only will this give your staff greater confidence and skill in tending to your customers’ needs, you will notice improvements in sales and satisfaction with your business.

#2: Particularly when economic times are difficult, customers generally spend less time on extravagance and luxury – such as travelling, wining and dining – but more time comparing and evaluating the merits of potential purchases. When customers are reticent to spend, the quality of the service they receive is significantly more important, using great service to intelligently recommend and fulfil customer needs directly impacts the bottom line.

It pays for companies to remember that it is during the ‘tighter’ economic times that your customers notice your every effort and the lengths that you go to in order to provide an attentive and high quality shopping experience. During difficult economic times customers tend to shop and buy less, so facilitating the development of staff skills to increase the average sale per shopper is an effective way to improve your profit margin.

#3: It is not something about which people automatically think, but when a customer receives exceptional service from your business, they are likely to experience a boost in their self-image. As Leduc emphasises in ‘Customers Buy When They Feel Good’, an article published on Small Business Success, “Prospective customers will not buy unless they feel good about you, your company and your product or service.”When funds are stretched, it is common for people to have a lowered sense of self-esteem. However, good service and feeling good about a product or service they have chosen to purchase can help customers to feel positively about themselves and also your business.

#4: Despite all of your best efforts to advertise and promote your business, the most powerful way that any message is spread is through word of mouth. People willingly share their experiences of purchasing and customer service with others. It therefore pays to ensure that your staff have had customer service training as this will help to guarantee that the messages and experiences that customers share about your business are positive.

#5: Sales training and customer service training are vital for your business because the expectations and needs of customers change constantly. What may have been considered good customer service twelve months ago, may not be considered so today.

It is important and immensely informative to understand what your customers want and expect. Knowing what you customers do and do not value, as well as what they think they are getting (or not getting) from your business can provide you with insight to help you improve the way that you look after your customers.

Quality customer service should be a concern and a priority for all businesses, regardless of their size and purpose or the economic climate. By devoting attention to customer service, businesses can expect to see improvements in their bottom line as well as an increase in the satisfaction of customers and their opinion of your business.

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