Customer relations are key to your business. But as your company grows, so does the likelihood that you and other executives will lose touch with your clientele.
Over time, you may let go of the individualized treatment that you felt compelled to offer as a new business.
Many companies even turn to outsiders to handle customer service.
In an age of 24-hour, seven-day-a-week customer service, there's a growing trend — especially among retailers — to outsource some tasks to third parties. At these off-site customer service centers, employees handle phone calls and e-mails from as many as 50 different companies, often flipping through scripts to try to respond the way the various firms want.
Think twice before jeopardizing your relationships this way. Not only should customer service be handled in-house, your company's top brass should get involved on a regular basis so you can keep tabs on satisfaction.
When you think of customer relations, think of how you want to be treated when you have complaints. Think of Walmart, which has staff members greeting people at the door of its stores. The perception is that Walmart cares about customers, although it's unlikely that there are any more employees helping out in the aisles than at comparable stores.
So get personal. Here are five ways to add a special touch to customer relations:
In an era of global commerce it can seem impossible to retain a personal touch. But it can be done. Train your employees and show them by example. If you stay connected with current customers and contact lost customers, satisfaction will grow — along with your sales.
"If we aren't customer driven, our cars won't be either." — Donald Petersen, former CEO of Ford Motor Company
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