Although two distinct topics, customer service and marketing play integral roles in the success of your business.
Needless to say, without customers, your business fails in a heartbeat. (Indeed, you won’t even get off the ground.) Problem is, too many businesses lose customers due to poor service. You’re a customer, and you know what drives you away.
– Surly employees
– Late delivery
– Shoddy quality
– Not following through on promises
– No follow up on complaints or other communications
You note I haven’t included price. High price isn’t an issue when you treat your customers right. If you’re losing customers, it’s probably because of one of the issues listed above. The customer may claim price, but that’s often a cover. Review your practices to see if there’s something you can do to improve the level of service your firm supplies.
As I share in another blog post, you don’t need to give away the farm to please your customer after a problem arises. It’s the gesture that counts.
Of course, you can’t have customer service problems if you don’t have customers in the first place. That’s where marketing comes in. Whole courses are devoted to this subject, so we can only touch on it briefly here.
Keep in mind that you must engage in some marketing. Don’t rely on traffic (vehicular or pedestrian) to keep your business afloat. Every other business is clamoring for your customers, and they’re marketing.
What’s involved? Any or all of these:
– Traditional media (yes, there is a place for some of that today)
– Social media
– E-mail blasts
– Trade shows
– Event marketing
– Printed materials
If you’re not sure what to do, contact a marketing or advertising agency. Those folks have the expertise to guide you in the proper direction. Don’t leave your marketing to chance. Your business literally depends on it.
The point is, you need to budget time and resources for marketing. You may stumble at first – spending money on a marketing strategy that just doesn’t pan out – so don’t get discouraged. Try to determine why that approach failed and either tweak it and try it again, or use another strategy. But keep your presence in the marketplace. Many of your competitors are.
For related reading, see “Solidify relationships with customers through personalized contact” and “How to improve your listening skills.”
Image courtesy of Stock.Xchng.