You can have all the bells and whistles, but is your customer service up to scratch?
In this day and age, people are becoming more and more accustomed to online forms of communication. Whether texting, DMing, PMing, social media, Snapchat or TikTok, the gold ol’ LIVE face-to-face interaction is becoming scarce. So when it comes to traditional forms of customer service, whether retail or hospitality (as sad as it sounds to have to say)... quality customer service can really set you apart from your competitors.
At the end of the day... customer service and customer loyalty go hand in hand.
Will a customer return if they have had a bad experience? Probably not.
Why is Customer Service SO Important?
You may have a stunning shopfront, lovely branding, presentable workspaces and all the bells and whistles; however, it is important to ask yourself... is your team's customer service up to scratch?
Are they equipped with the right training and high level of etiquette to give your business a great name?
These are not terrible questions to ask.
These are important questions, especially when concerning the reputation of your business.
Quality customer service can mean the difference between a happy returning customer and a dissatisfied customer who spreads a bad word. Ultimately customer service could make or break sales, reputation and loyalty in your business.
We appreciate that customers today are more complex than before, due to the rapid development and adoption of technology. Today’s customer have evolved in their expectations and demand service to be faster, more convenient, higher quality and (of course) cheaper…
Does trying to achieve this come at a price for you and your business or organisation?
What has changed in customer service?
Overtime technology, systems, process and expectations have evolved and so has the world of customer service...
Where customers were once greeted by friendly staff in stores or over the counter, there are now online and over the phone equivalents. and in many instances communication is now replaced with automations and artificial intelligence. This has caused a HUGE lack of connection, that was once established when dealing with a customer.
Furthermore, the old “suggestion boxes” that appeared in stores have largely been removed, and the old “mystery shopper” has disappeared. Why? Because the owners and management are less interested in the feedback… They know they have reduced their training programs to be 'on the job' instead of being facilitated before people commence. Sadly this puts a strain on the new employees, to learn as they go and also results in poor quality of service due to their limited knowledge.
Whilst training, a certain level of product knowledge is acquired. However, the biggest element of refining customer service skills occurs when listening to company representatives who understand company policies, procedures, and general professional etiquette involved in providing exceptional customer assistance.
In sales and marketing training, one of the things that was always taught was “Customer is King”, meaning that your customer is Number One. All customers are crucial to the role and function of a business; they are the ones that allow the business to exist. Without them, there is no business…
Why is it important to retain customers?
Acquiring customers can be a challenging process of reaching them, addressing their needs or wants, convincing them your product or service is the answer and then converting the sale. Long story short... getting a customer is hard enough! It requires strategy to attract customers.
So you would think that after all that... keeping customers should be easy! BUT it is even harder… Not delivering good customer service comes at an expensive cost to any organisation.
Let us demonstrate this using a small customer service scenario
Who does not love their morning tea, coffee, or favourite juice? Well, imagine you go to Pinocchio's every day for the past 12 months because you LOVE their coffee. It is incredible, the business owner greets you with a smile and offers small talk, all the employees smile and greet their customers, and everyone makes you feel special every time you visit their café.
Now, imagine that as a result, the business thrived and the owner decided to sell! The new owners come on board and are looking to get their return on investment quickly. They hire new staff, buy more coffee machines, and order pre-made drinks and foods so that they can serve quicker and increase their sales with higher turnover. This change in business means that everyone is working harder, longer hours and dealing with more customers, but no-one is as happy as before. Now that there are more machines and all pre-made drinks and food, customers feel they are not receiving the same quality of service they used to get. The pressure on staff to deliver a quicker service, means that their interactions are rushed, shorter and not as warming or friendly.
Let's say you go back a few times, but in the meantime, you try Charlie’s café, two doors down, to see if you can get the same experience Pinocchio's used to have. Finally, you decide that Charlie's is closer to what Pinocchio's used to be, and you decide to go to Charlie's instead.
Well, Pinocchio’s new owners just lost long term customers and now work harder to get new customers who, have now all been driven towards Charlie’s better quality service… In the meantime, Charlie's is thriving!
All Pinocchio's had to do was do some quick research and ask people why they returned before they decided to make such big changes and lose the identity and customer service they were renowned for.
This applies to every business out there. If your service is always great and there has been one time where something went wrong, you provide the customer with another opportunity. However, if the problem continues and they are not getting satisfaction from your shopping experience; as a consumer they will move on and find a better place.
Let us ask you, why is the Maccas Model so powerful and famous? Same process, operations, ideology, training, and environment no matter where you go… You are buying consistency in your shopping experience.
Our Customer Service Promise
At Wollongong Printing, we endeavour to offer the same. It is about the journey for our clients. From the first call a customer makes, to their experience while placing their order, then the thrill of opening their order once it arrives, our customer service is undeniable.
We appreciate that things go wrong sometimes and work extremely hard with our customers to understand how we can reduce futile orders. We aim to ensure that all customers are satisfied, even when or where there is an issue.
We listen! And... we do it with a smile (guess what... it doesn't kill you!) We pride ourselves on our achievements and how we assist our clients.
We hope that you can take something away from understanding the importance of customer service and that you feel the quality in our customer service when you choose us for print!