Customer service has always been an important part of building a successful and sustainable business, as it was this that helped Robert Bassam to build his network of car dealerships to the successful organization it is today.
However, this concept has taken on an elevated importance as we progress deeper into the 21st century, as consumers now have access to a matrix of information on businesses, thanks to the internet.
Knowing this, it is important to put the people that patronize your business first. In this article, we will explain why this is more important than ever.
People are talking about you on social media
One of the most powerful drivers behind increased sales is social proof. In the past, this was built through friends talking to each other on the phone or in person about an experience they had lately with a local business.
However, this chatter has evolved to include posts on Facebook and on Twitter. Unlike other word of mouth mechanisms, social media posts have the power to reach dozens or even hundreds of people rather than the limited number of friends that could be influenced by an in-person conversation.
What’s more, social media has opened the possibility of being able to have a direct conversation with your customers. This capability allows you to resolve problems on the spot, which can sow the seeds for future sales opportunities.
Customers are reviewing your business on rating sites
Public feedback regarding your business is not limited to social media websites, as the emergence of rating sites has given them another platform on which to either promote or pan your products or services.
When it comes to making a decision on whether or not to go with a specific restaurant, hotel, or other business where there is significant customer traffic, consumers are increasingly trusting the feedback they read on sites like Yelp.
Consistency among a number of reviews will paint a picture of whether a specific business is right for them, so it is important to maintain a high level of service from day to day.
Also, be sure respond rapidly to negative reviews to make things right, and not just for damage control purposes.
Customers have a world of choice at their fingertips
This fact is probably the most shocking one of all for brick-and-mortar businesses that used to have a virtual monopoly in a specific geographic area.
With the rise of e-commerce, consumers suddenly have options available to them that were never possible before.
If an online retailers such as Amazon can offer a product for significantly less than what a local store is selling it for, they are often willing to wait 24 to 48 hours to have it delivered to their home.
In major urban centers, the advent of Amazon Prime means that these consumers may be able to have that specific good in their hands within hours.
Keeping this in mind, it is more important than ever to be responsive to the needs of your customers. If you don’t offer them selection, pricing, and a customer experience that makes it worth their while to leave their home, they will have no problem ordering what they want from the endless assortment of online retailers that have popped up like mushrooms in recent years.