Communications is a vital part of every business, and also one of the most difficult to get right. Things have really changed recently in the way people conduct business and of course also in the expectations of customers. Even suppliers now sometimes have different expectations.
For one thing, it is vital these days for businesses to have a website and email address available for contact. Social media is also good to have, but it’s actually not as essential as email and a good website. For some people, especially those on a low budget, social media is best avoided. When handled incorrectly, it can prove to be very costly.
The reason for this is that some customers prefer to have all communications in written form. You really do need to ensure that you can accommodate their preferences or they will take their business elsewhere.
Equally important, of course, are voice communications. Many customers prefer to be able to interact with a live person and get quick responses to their concerns. The problem is that, except for a few really small businesses that cater only to the local area, in the modern world there is a global marketplace and it never closes. There is no opening hours on the Internet. Customers expect you to be available 24/7 and when you are not, they take their business elsewhere.
According to Reuben Singh, CEO of alldayPA, you can’t rely on voice mail to cover you. In fact, he says: “Research shows that 70% of callers will not leave a message if they are directed to voice mail. Most will only try once, and then go elsewhere, never to return.”
If the shocking fact that you could be losing 7 out of 10 potential customers isn’t scary enough, then consider that it is estimated that the average cost of losing a customer in this way is £1200. Over the course of a lifetime, this could potentially add up to millions!
The smart way to handle the situation is to outsource your communications, which will ensure a consistent customer service experience all day, every day. There are many obvious advantages to doing so, but the two most important ones are:
- Your customers never feel they are unimportant or disrespected. They can always speak with a real live person who represents your business and will handle their call in a professional manner.
- You get your time back. Instead of wasting time on non-productive activities, you can dedicate yourself fully to activities that earn revenue directly. You also can have more of your own time… no more missing your child’s birthday party or having to say no to social invitations.
As a professional entrepreneur, you simply must realise that customer service is the real foundation of everything you do, and unless you get it right, your competitors can easily gain an advantage over you.
Good service helps build loyalty and besides that, it’s something you can be proud of. When a business sincerely strives to deliver great value and service, it becomes an elite and noble venture that people will respect. The contrast between this and a business that only cares about taking money from customers is so dramatic that it really does usually mean the difference between success and failure.