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How to use customer service to market your business

If you are a business owner it is crucial that you understand the importance of customer service and the part it plays in your overall marketing plan. If you fail to realize how your customer service affects your marketing you may doom your business to an early end. Studies show that a majority of customers will return to a business to purchase again simply because of the level of customer service they have received. It is important to note that this is true regardless of whether or not the business offers the lowest price. This means that your customers may choose to patronize a different business simply because they have received less then stellar customer service not because they are seeking a better deal.

However, good customer service means a lot more then keeping your existing customers coming back. It is important to understand that bad customer service can seriously damage your business and your reputation but when your customers let their family and friends know how well you have taken care of them you are getting priceless word of mouth marketing. This makes it crucial that you do everything you can to provide the best in customer service. If you fail to do this you will soon find yourself like many other businesses shutting your doors and taking down your website. The bottom line is that marketing and customer service go hand in hand. Here is what you need to know about how to use customer service to market your business-
- Know your customer's wants-It is virtually impossible to take care of your customers if you don't know what they are looking for. Keep in mind that once you know what your customers are looking for they will expect you to deliver on your promises. If you want to satisfy your customers and keep them coming back (along with referring you), you will need to under promise and over deliver.
- Make customer service a top priority-Businesses that offer the best in customer service do so because they are always addressing it. You will need to make sure that everyone who works for you understands that offering the best in customer service is their number one job. You should constantly be training your employees on how to treat your customers and show them by providing the level of customer service that you expect them to offer.
- Have problem resolution processes-Nothing is more frustrating to a customer then to hear "let me get a manager." Train your employees to be able to deal with customer service issues on their own. You should also provide a way for your customers to let you know if things aren't right. Whether you set up a complaint box or periodically call your customers you want to stay in touch with their satisfaction about your service. Never assume that just because you don't hear something that everything is all right. Many of your customers won't report a problem with your customer service but will simply take their business to your competition. Once you are made aware of a problem be sure to respond quickly and fix it. That sends a positive marketing message that you care about your customers needs.
- Involve your customers with your marketing efforts-Part of using customer service to market is involving your existing customer base. Ask your happy customers to provide recommendations and referrals for your business. You can also offer incentives to customers who bring in new customers. Just make sure that you specify that the new customer must make a purchase from your business in order to receive the incentive.

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