Why Customer Service Makes the Difference

How important is customer service to your business? Does it matter if your customers are happy or unhappy? Is customer service a burden or an opportunity?

These are questions I have been asking myself lately. I am a small business owner with A LOT of customers. How many you might ask?

Yesterday alone I had 106 new paying customers, not to mention 507 new email list subscribers. If I do the same thing every day over the next year (and I hope I do!), that is over 200,000 people who may, at some point, have a customer service issue I need and want to deal with.

How customer service kills productivity. Most of the time small business owners see customer service as a “reactive” issue, a problem waiting to happen. When something does go wrong they stop what they are doing and fix it.  Once they do they can get back to running and growing their company, well at least until the next problem hits! It can be a vicious cycle and a real productivity killer.

What is “customer service” really? Is customer service really just about the problems? Aren’t there opportunities there?

I saw a great quote recently in Zendesk’s promo video describing what their Zendesk Plus product did for businesses. They defined customer service as “Improving the relationship between your business and your customers.”

I love that! Their definition is simple and elegant. They don’t look at customer service as just solving problems, but as an opportunity to constantly improve the relationship between a business and its customers.

They should know. If you haven’t heard of Zendesk, they are one of the leading software-based customer service companies in the world. Over 60,000 businesses use their products to provide 1st class customer service support 24/7/365.

First impressions count in the world of customer service. You have probably heard the advice “Always make a good first impression!”

I think it is a critical component of being a successful small business owner.

Why?

Most businesses have competition. If you make a bad first impression there is a pretty good chance your customer will find one of those competitors when it comes time to make their next purchasing decision.

Well, how do you do make a good first impression every time? You need to have a system and automate things wherever you can.

I mentioned earlier that I average just over 500 new subscribers to my email list every day. I think it is important to acknowledge each and every one of them, say thank you and introduce myself and my company.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to write every one of them a personal “thank you” message. However, there is email management software that automates the process and does it for me. And, while there are lots of them to choose from, Constant Contact is a great fit for companies from both a price and functionality standpoint.

Jumpstart your customer service program. Your customers are the life blood of your company and having a good relationship with them is important. That relationship starts with the very first contact between them and you. Yes, there are going to be problems, but there are also lots of opportunities to build relationships ahead of those problems. To do customer service well you are going to need help. The Constant Contact Toolkit and Zendesk Plus are two tools that, together, can help automate and manage many of the customer service issues your business faces.

The MasterCard Business Network understands customer service and just how valuable these two tools can be, especially when used together, in creating a solid customer service program for small businesses. They have partnered with each company and are offering the two bundled together in a “Customer Essentials Bundle” at an amazing price. You should check it out!

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Check Out the MasterCard Business Network Customer Essential Bundle!

Ajeet Khurana
Ajeet Khurana
Ajeet Khurana wears many hats: author, angel investor, mentor, TEDx speaker, steering committee of the NASSCOM Start-Up Warehouse, Director of Founder Institute, Venture Partner with the seed initiative of a top Venture Capital firm, and former CEO of IIT Bombay’s business incubator, among others. Before all this, he was entrepreneurial twice in the field of education and web publishing. As a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, he taught e-commerce back in 1993, when the term "e-commerce" had not yet been coined. An undergrad in computer engineering from the University of Mumbai, and an MBA from the University of Texas, Ajeet is presently an active name in the startup ecosystem. From starting two ventures as a solopreneur, to helping a large number of startups with their go-to-market, he has never shied from getting his hands dirty. At the same time he has helped dozens of startups raise investment. He truly believes that small business owners are driving change in the world, and need to be facilitated as much as possible. Innumerable small businesses have gained from his attitude, vast professional networks, financial acumen and digital mindset.

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