As a business owner, I enjoy helping small business owners with their online presence and email marketing. It’s fun to see their engagement increase and to experience their successes alongside them. I am fortunate in that I work with an amazing group of business owners; every client is more than a client. Their support to me is wonderful, and hopefully they feel the same way about our customer service to them. When we are making a major purchase or promoting our own business, we all want to know that we are in good hands. Sometimes, however, we all experience customer service that is anything but great.
Our Personal Story of Lackluster Customer Service
The story I am about to share is one that I experienced as a customer outside of my circle of clients. It’s a story about misplaced priorities. It’s a story about the importance of an often overlooked detail of making a sale. It a story about Great Customer Service… or lack thereof!
As a business owner, you’ve likely invested lot of time, money and energy into your online digital marketing and marketing materials. You know the look and feel you want, you understand your audience, and you do everything right! But are you prepared to convey that same energy and excitement when you get that call, email, text, or Facebook message from a customer or prospect? Are you excited to hear from them, ready to engage in a positive and professional manner? If not, keep reading. Below is my personal story of Customer Service gone awry, in what would have otherwise been a guaranteed sale.
Too often, after much investment in a website, SEO, social media and online advertising, businesses and their teams fall short on their initial customer contact. The cost in lost revenue may be insurmountable.
When it Comes to Customer Service, Engagement Matters!
When my husband and I decided to relocate, we found the home online that we KNEW we wanted to buy. I quickly researched the sponsoring real estate agents, their websites, social media profiles and reviews. Next, I selected the agent I thought would be the best fit. Their online presence clearly stated that they were friendly, professional, qualified and able to get the job done. I was therefore quite surprised when Agent A answered the phone. Within seconds, I knew this agent was not a good fit. Agent A on the ‘other end of the phone’ simply did not align with the organization’s online presence. She lacked any sense of urgency, had poor communication skills, and was more interested in selling herself than in selling us the house. I could not wait for the opportunity to tactfully end this call.
Not to be dissuaded!
I called my second choice in agents and BINGO! Agent B was beyond great. We immediately had a connection. She was friendly, professional, and helpful. No waiting until next week to see this house. In a matter of minutes, we had arranged for a relative to walk through the house that afternoon. We then toured the home via FaceTime an hour after that. We loved the house, made an offer that evening and were in contract by morning. Agent B’s great customer service skills ensured the process was seamless and we now call that house our home. Her great customer service sealed the deal!
Which Agent Represents Your Customer Service?
The first company invested much more in their online presence, but fell short on a 5-minute customer service call. Agent A lost a guaranteed sale. That mistake cost that agent and the organization commission on a house and future referrals. Agent B nailed the customer service aspect and won the deal. Which agent represents your customer service, Agent A or Agent B? If you’re not sure, have a friend ‘shop’ your business and provide objective feedback.
5 Tips to Build a Foundation To Seal the Deal with Engaging Customer Service
- Fully understand the personality of your business (professional, fun, helpful, scientific, etc.).
- Invest in and build your online presence (website, email marketing, social media, SEO) in a manner that reflects the core personality of your business.
- Align your customer service with your online presence. The customer should never feel surprised when they engage with you for the first time.
- Have a customer service plan and train your team members so all customers receive a consistent experience.
- Never assume that your online presence is all that you need. Great customer service is essential and invaluable.
About the Author: Linda D’Angelo is owner of The Small Biz Shop, a place where business owners and nonprofit organizations can go for collaboration, consulting, learning, strategy and assistance with email marketing and social media execution. Working collaboratively with you, her small dynamic team helps you achieve your business goals via marketing and business support, workshops and consulting. As an accredited Constant Contact Solution Provider and certified HootSuite Solution Provider, Linda focuses on executing email marketing and social media for small business owners. She achieved Master Certification by Constant Contact to help small businesses market their business. She is also an active member of the Social Media Marketing Society.