Is Service a Product?
The short answer is yes! Think about it for a moment, anytime a customer is in contact with a company, the company is selling service; a product of the conversation between customer and company.
Providing this value product called service, serves the company as much as it serves the customer by doing the following:
- Promoting Cost Effectiveness. Surveys have shown the cost of acquiring a new customer is exponentially more expensive (up to 5 times) than the cost of retaining an existing customer. Thus, even a small 5% rise in customer retention can increase profitability by as much as 25%.
- Increased Employee Morale. When senior management is aligned and in-sync with front line staff on the importance of customer service leading to retention, the entire group is operating as a team with everyone sharing a common goal.
Whenever there are two or more companies selling the same goods or services, success is quantified by how well the customer was treated because this fundamental more so than price will bring back the customer to the same establishment to buy again. Consider the following steps:
- Be a solution to the customer’s problem, don’t evade them. Hear the customer out, let them speak without being interrupted. Upon hearing the customers issue, buy into their problem with empathy and mention that you may have a solution or two to help them.
- Never be too busy at the expense of the customer. Always remember: Your most important business asset is your customer. Never let a customer think they are intruding on your time. Stop whatever you’re doing and offer your help. This is the number one job duty of any front line staff employee.
- Learn from your customer. Show interest in the discussion, their issue or even a solution that they may bring up. Don’t view the conversation as simply a way to sell ‘widgets.’ Instead view the conversation as a way to sell your entire company as having a stake in the customer’s success. Make the customer feel that their being in your place business was a good decision to the extent that when they depart they were glad they came to you in the first place.
The Moment of Truth
The above comments are essentially Moments of Truth. The first contact that a customer has with any facet of your business is a moment of truth and can make or break your company. Moments of Truth include: Ambiance of your business, Quality of your products AND service, Knowledge and solutions to answer your customer’s questions, and Reliability as a business partner that creates confidence in the customer that you will always be there for them with a constant and consistent service.