There have been many times that I have stopped patronizing a store or service company because of horrendous customer service. Whether your small business is part of a large franchise or you run your own business – your customer service is a major part of your small businesses brand, marketing and public relations strategy.
Remember the Saturn commercials from 20 years ago? It was a start-up brand that built its reputation on superior customer service. The commercials showed customers enjoying themselves while waiting for their new Saturn.
They were treated with respect, given food to eat and were taken care of even after their purchase. Saturn focused on its “no haggle” pricing to appeal to consumers who just wanted to go into one of their dealerships to buy a car. People who had good customer service shared their experience with others, becoming what I have coined “public relations ambassadors.” Something that is done quite effectively via social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
A good example is one that I have from a client who owns a medical spa in New Jersey. She is super sensitive to the quality of her customer service. I walked in to receive a treatment one day and there was no one at the front desk to greet me. I couldn’t find a single employee. I thought: “What if I was a new customer coming in for information about receiving a service?”
I decided that I would have walked out just as fast as I walked in. I mentioned this to my client and explained to her that if the front desk person needed to leave her post, she needed some sort of sign on the reception desk telling people to have a seat and that someone will be there shortly.
Start building your customer service via a public relations machine by making sure the people that answer your phones are informed about your company and most importantly know how to work your phone system. It is easy to deter new customers if their calls are dropped because the receptionist doesn’t know how to put calls through voice mail. Make sure temporary employees have access to phone directories and instructions on how to use your telephone system. Make sure they are told how to greet callers and guests.
If you train your employees to properly engage customers and provide superior customer service, you will have customers and clients who become your very own public relations ambassadors.