By Sara Mackey
Having a well thought out customer service strategy is essential when developing a business plan. Large organizations and small businesses alike must incorporate well planned customer service strategies into their business goals to build a profitable return customer base. The ultimate success of a business will depend on how well the customers are treated and how well the business is able to satisfy their needs.
Many businesses take the time to develop a business plan centered on their company and financial goals, but often fail to include a carefully crafted customer service strategy.
It is well known that customers will reward businesses they feel meet their needs and will reject those that don’t. The first step in writing a good customer service strategy for your business plan is to assess your current customer service policy, if you are an existing business, or determining which aspects of customer service are most important, if you’re business is new.
A good customer service strategy plan will also determine what their particular customer’s needs and requirements are, create customer-focused policies, include written guidelines and methods for resolving various customer issues and complaints and a system for educating current and new employees on your customer service strategies.
When customer service is broken down to its basics, it is simply meeting the needs of the customer as expected by the customer. Every business has a different approach for achieving quality customer service, but without a strategy in place, it is less likely that it will happen. There are countless benefits to taking the initiative to developing a customer service strategy including minimizing stress for both the customers and the employees, a higher level of efficiency, increased customer satisfaction which results in a higher rate of return customers and cost efficiency. Rather than relying on short term debt financing for an ineffective ad campaign, excellent customer service will speak for itself as customers spread their satisfaction, for free, by word of mouth.
Not only is excellent customer service a cost effective way of getting the word out about your business, but recent studies have also shown it costs a business five times more to gain a new customer. With just a five percent customer retention rate, a business raises their profitability anywhere from twenty five to eighty five percent.
A good customer service strategy pays for itself, many times, but in order to achieve that vision of great customer service, you must develop a strategy for achieving it and the ability to train your employees for executing it.