Staying in business is more challenging today than it has ever been. You may not always be able to undercut a competitor’s price, but you can always do a better job serving the customer. My book Repeat Business Inc.: The Business of Staying in Business offers 50 essential tools that focus on delivering service to keep your customers coming back again and again. You will find several comparably lessons in this month’s recommended reading. The following are a few choice articles I am certain you will enjoy.
The size of your sales and marketing team isn’t the biggest barrier to next-level of growth, writes Hubspot contributor Eva Klein (@HubSpot). Business growth depends on how good you are at stopping customer churn and building a base of happy, successful, outspoken advocates. “The most cost-efficient way to run a business today is ensuring that your customers are happy and successful — that takes customer success,” she says. In this fascinating article, Ava explains what sets customer success apart from customer support and why it matters.
According to Shep Hyken (@Hyken), great customer service training must go beyond techniques and tactics. Training must instill an inner drive and an ambitious effort to take care of the customer. He outlines five concepts that will help create such a mindset, writing: “There are certain parts of delivering service that are natural and automatic, however people must be conscious of what they are doing and always looking for ways to make it better.”
Even if you get away with lying to a customer, it still sets a poor example and undermines repeat business from customers in the cross-hairs of demoralized service team members. This sin and eight other examples Forbes contributor Micah Solomon (@micahsolomon) suggests are among the worst blunders with disastrous customer service consequences that companies must immediate exorcize. “Make sure your exits are clear, your floors don’t have tripping hazards, you are actually following the spirit of the ADA, you’re not typecasting customers based on their gender, race, or class,” he writes. “Because this stuff is unforgiveable.”
Businesses can leverage the culture they create to grow the company and retain customers. Dr. Lynette Reed, writing for Business.com (@businessdotcom), suggests, “When these elements become embedded in the way leaders do business, then the culture changes how employees respond to customers.” She explores the trickled-down behavior from different levels within an organization that create deeper connections to the business, and ultimately, customers.
What are you reading? Share your must-read customer service articles in the comments below and @RealPaulRutter.