Customer service – The backbone of a small business
This week a few things happened that really made me think about the importance of good customer service. I always try to provide the best customer service I can in my business, and customers really appreciate it. It can be as simple as writing “thank you” on the packing slip or invoice, shipping orders earlier than expected, making sure to package your items nicely for shipping, and making a hassle-free exchange or refund policy. I’m usually on the business side of customer service, but this week I was on the receiving end of excellent customer service. Now I understand why some of my customers are surprised by the customer care I provide.
The first surprise I got was from my internet company. I’ve had problems with my internet connection since I switched plans in October … same company, just different plan of service. After lots of repair visits and changes to my account, it’s finally working right. The surprise came when my account rep. told me he would be giving me a month of free service because of what happened. It was a really good feeling to know that they cared about my satisfaction with their service.
The other surprise I got was when I called the company that made my Ninja blender. I love my Ninja – it can turn shredded coconut into coconut cream in less than 5 minutes and makes the smoothest sauces. The problem was a design flaw in the handle where food and water got stuck and couldn’t be cleaned. I called to ask if there was a way to take apart the handle to clean it because I didn’t want to break it. What a surprise when they said they would be sending me out a new pitcher and locking lid! I really felt like a valued customer and felt they went above and beyond to respond to my needs as a customer.
After these experiences this week, I am more motivated than ever to provide the best customer service I possibly can. As a small business owner, my customers are my livelihood. I appreciate every order whether it’s $3 or $300. I am so thankful for every comment, good or bad, that customers take the time to send me. The good comments make me feel good and let me know what I’m doing right, but the negative comments are even more important as they help me improve my business and make it better.