Here’s another great post from resident guest blogger, Jennifer Williams. She can be found and followed on Twitter @JToTheWilliams.
When entering the business world, a startup company has a lot of work to do regarding creating business budgets and understanding the complex financial aspect of the business. All this talk about budgets and finances would make a startup business owner believe that those are the only concepts that matter in the business world- and often times they overlook the fundamentals and core of what they need as a company.
While these aspects are important there is one other area of owning a startup company that is just as important - the customer service.
Customer service plays a major role in startup companies and when you're just starting, you're actually at a prime place to set yourselves up as customer service wavens since you're still unscathed and don't have drones of angry customers yet.
So why customer service? Let's take a peek.
Develop a Loyal Customer Base
Customers love companies that provide great customer service. When a customer experiences excellent customer service on the part of the company they are more likely to visit or use that company in the future. This loyal customer base allows companies to have a constant stream of income.
A startup company that provides great customer service can start to develop a loyal customer base that will bring customers coming back and could potentially further the development of that particular company.
Creating a Reputation for Your Company
Word-of-mouth is one of the most essential promotional tools for any business. A company that provides bad customer service could potentially gain a reputation for not caring about the customer. This type of reputation could destroy a startup company as many customers who have not dealt with the firm first-hand do not know much about the company and will take what they hear through the grapevine as factual information.
By providing great customer service a startup will develop a reputation for caring about the customer which could lead to an increase in the amount of customers that patronize the company.
A Secret Marketing
Customer service can be more than just gaining a loyal customer base and creating a good reputation for your company. It can also be a wonderful marketing tool that a startup company can use. Customers are yearning to use companies that offer excellent customer service. To the outsider the promise of excellent customer service conveys the message that this firm really cares about its customers. A startup company that promises excellent customer service could potentially bring in new customers and expand the business to a clientele that might not otherwise have heard about the company.
Utilizing Social Media
Social media can be a powerful customer service tool that some companies are just now finding out about. As a company (especially a startup that hasn't really established itself yet) you should be monitoring social channels for mentions of your company and reacting to them. If someone needs help or is asking a question, jump in and reply to them. They'll be amazed at how quick you are with customer service and are likely to use this as a channel in the future. Plus, it sure beats the heck out of those phone trees. :)
The Power of Word-Of-Mouth
Customers who have a great experience with the company are more likely to recommend the business to their friends and family. By placing importance on customer service a startup company is utilizing the power of word-of-mouth to develop a customer base and potentially target new customers.
Implementing and learning customer service can have a major impact on a startup company. While it is important to have a business plan, business budget and understanding of the finances, customer service is just as important and can play a huge role in whether or not your startup company turns into a potential successful business.
What steps will you now to take to improve your customer service and increase your customer base as a startup?