Customer Service Is Long-term Advertising
Have you ever considered premier customer service to be a part of your advertising budget? I am envisioning glazed looks and a sudden shift in interest. Since I don’t want you to tune this out I’ll jump right into the details. If you have an unhappy customer you will also find that most of them will become advertisers for your business. Of course they won’t be the type of advertisers you are looking for. In the past, radio advertising representatives were often told by potential advertisers they didn’t believe advertising worked, but if that radio station ad rep were to tell the customer, “Well, we’d be happy to provide advertising that points out the negative aspects of your business at no cost because we’d like to prove to you that advertising works,” the business owner would typically back peddle. In this case the advertiser knows that advertising works they either don’t want to advertise or their budget won’t allow them to do so – but they certainly don’t want negative advertising.
The truth is negative advertising is acted on by more consumers than positive advertising. You can point out all the positives you want, but if you have a customer service issue that you don’t take care of, the damage of negative advertising may be subtle, but it will impact your business in a negative way. If you have too many unresolved customer service issues the damage may be hard to overcome. So, you see, the truth is premier customer service should be a part of your advertising budget. That’s right, you should consider spending some money to achieve quality customer service.
A happy customer will be more likely to pass along word of mouth and email referrals. You may never know whom they told, but if you build trust in positive customer service you can be certain it can be nothing less than positive for your company. As with any advertising it can be hard to pinpoint how and when an individual heard about your business, but quality customer service will reap long-term benefits. Too many businesses view customer service as something they will ‘try to do their best at’. If you don’t put together a specified plan of action in dealing with customers you will probably drop the ball and you’re failure to communicate will be noticed. Look at it this way; your customer already placed trust in you for their original purchase. If you can be decisive in your handling of customer complaints you are essentially enlisting a new form of advertising. Word of mouth is a form of advertising that has always been a positive to business. It doesn’t matter if your business is homegrown or an offshoot of an existing brick and mortar corporation. Help your customers find a reason to come back for more.
There will always be water cooler conversations, make sure when the subject of your business comes up somewhere in the world today the comments from at least one knowledgeable customer places you in the ‘websites to investigate’ file in the minds of co-workers.
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