Good Customer Service
Posted: February 22, 2013
As a small business owner for more than 24 years, I have to remind myself that good customer service is still the driving force to retaining subscribers and advertisers. I could get business "scoops" on the competition every week, but if I don't show my customers that they are important, it will all be for naught.
Sometimes it's the little things that a business owner does that demonstrates the importance of customer service.
For example, I've enjoyed personally delivering free, three-ring binders to subscribers who request them. The cost of the binder is nominal, although there is some advertising value in the gift since it features the color scheme and logo of The Bottom Line. But by dropping off the binder in person, I often get face time with the customer and am afforded the opportunity to learn more about their business.
Another easy way to show the customer that I care is when I personally deliver an issue of The Bottom Line to a subscriber or to a reader who misplaced a previous issue of the newsletter. Once again, I have the chance to connect the face of a subscriber to the name on the mailing label. I know I've retained some customers who may have not renewed their subscription if it weren't for my extra effort.
About two months ago, Lisa and I dined at the Fill-Inn Station in downtown Chippewa Falls for our favorite Friday fish fry. We've eaten there many times since it's in a convenient location to the high school activities that we attend. We also frequently order the weekly specialty pizza for carry-out.
After our Friday meal, we were surprised when the waitress informed us that our meal would be free. We knew that the servers remembered us as regular customers, but we didn't know that the owners recognized us.
We all know what bad customer service looks like. In fact, a negative experience at a retail establishment or restaurant can have far-reaching effects that could damage the reputation of a business. So it's rewarding to be on the positive end of great customer service.
Think about ways you can do something "outside the box " for your good customers. You don't necessarily have to give something away, but I can tell you from personal experience, it goes a long way to keeping the customer happy and someone who is willing to share their story.