Business success is dependent on a variety of factors â€“ a realistic business idea, a well thought-out business plan, an appropriate marketing strategy and great customer service are amongst the top ones. While customer service is a part of marketing, it can be segregated as a separate field on its own. Itâ€™s important to define the term customer service before we proceed. Customer service includes all aspects of interaction with a customer and speaks to the organizationâ€™s image in the mind of a customer.
A customer provides an organization with that most organic of all advertising tools â€“ word of mouth advertising. A happy and satisfied customer is much more likely to send more customers your way. Further, there is the potential for repeat business, which is the backbone of many businesses. It is obvious that a customer who has been provided with a product or service that he or she desired in the ideal way, would build a relationship with the seller.
Further customer relationship management teaches the business where there are flaws in the system and provides valuable customer feedback. When a business receives feedback, it is able to see the customerâ€™s image of the organization and the impression of its services. This tool is invaluable in correcting systems as well as image management for the business. It is also an outsiderâ€™s perspective, which provides the business owner or management a unique insight.
Additionally, a satisfied customer would be more likely to participate in activities that help to generate customer preference data. This data goes back to the marketing function in assisting the organization to better target and attract it potential customers.
In fact, it would not be a stretch to say that without good customer service, a business would not survive. The old adage â€˜The customer is always rightâ€™ has been the foundation of many an organization and what it really means is that keeping customers happy is the foremost principle of any business. The reason for the survival of many small businesses in a tough and competitive market is their ability to provide personalized customer service. It is the human touch that warms and enlivens an organization in the customerâ€™s mind and goes towards building a relationship. This relationship is the basis of future growth for a business.
Regular and sustained interaction with a customer ensures that the customer feels connected with the business. For instance, a small pub owner who chats with his customers and knows them by name builds a relationship with them. Further, when he makes sure that their regular bartender makes their drinks and the food is fresh and hot, he is providing customer service. The customers have a good experience and feel that the establishment treated them well. Once an organization grows or goes online, there is less potential for this face-to-face interaction and then the business must find creative ways to ensure customer satisfaction.
The role of customer service to a business, online or offline, is essential to its growth and survival.