Now In: Old-Fashioned Customer Service

 

Even though business marketing has evolved over the years, business relationships are based on the same principles as those of 50 years ago. How your customers feel about your business depends on how you treat them.

These principles are even more valuable today given the loss of personalization resulting from our obsession with technology. Whether it’s a shop on Main Street or a destination point in cyberspace, we’ve drifted away from that “personal touch” – which is equally important for both types of businesses.

Reaching out to your customers is key. Make sure they feel welcomed and comfortable. Ensure that their questions are answered and that you go above and beyond to anticipate their needs.

Of course, customer service goes beyond closing the deal. Follow up to see whether they’re still happy with their last transaction, and ask if there’s anything else you can do for them. Customers appreciate knowing that you still care about their opinions even if they consider the business part of your relationship to be over. In fact, you do still need and want their business, and regular communication demonstrates your authenticity.

How to do this? A growing trend in customer service involves making customers feel as though they are part of your company. Get them involved by soliciting their views and their stories. Encourage their participation by offering loyalty discounts or coupons.

Successful companies known for their service have hired customer service managers to concentrate full time on this. It feels like old-fashioned customer service, but it still works.