Customer Service Myth: Customer Service is for the Big Boys

Every time I have a casual talk with friends and even former clients about business, the conversation tends to drift towards the challenges of the markets and getting customers (or keeping them). Since customers are drivers of revenues in any business regardless of business models, quite naturally, it is a topic of interest to small business owners.

The usual concern is the question of costs and investment in any customer service initiative. The usual conclusion also is that the running costs and investments made on customer service make small enterprise owners perceive that customer service is the big boys’ game. My conclusion: It’s a Myth.

Most think that on average, interaction with customer using sleek and expensive collaterals win the day. There’s a tendency to spend on really expensive advertising and marketing materials to capture and keep customers. Unless you intend to be a national or global brand, small businesses can make do with least expensive and often times more effective customer service programs.

Most enterprises (and I mean 60% of the enterprises existing today) will not grow to be national or global brands. You don’t need me for you to know this statistic. Just go to your local county or city and you will find out that few businesses that register for their business permits will end up being a big brand five years after. What I am telling you is that “Customer Service” is not really exclusive for the big boys.

Customer Service is simply for enterprises or businesses who want to stay in the business of serving their customers. It doesn’t matter if it is a business with 5,000 capitalization or a million dollars of capitalization, all businesses need customers and all customers want to be served in a manner they believe they deserve.

Think about this: All businesses have customers. The better they know them the better they can serve them. All businesses must understand how their products or services work or how it satisfies a customer need.

Whether you’re an average guy or a genius, you will always end up adapting a process to make sure you deliver the product or service that satisfies your customer needs. Of course to deliver and consistently have the ability to deliver your products and services you need to have the right tools. You need technology and even the most mundane things like calculators and cash registers or a cheap communication tool like email.

Entrepreneurs or business owners may pride themselves with the ability to navigate around competition and the markets, but if you cannot afford risks it means you will have to plan. A business plan is important yet very few actually rely on a business plan to grow their business. Once you have the confidence in your plan, you will need a team of very good people to run with the plan and make the business work.

Bottom line: Customer Service is not a complex or esoteric concept. It is just like any part of business made up of manageable chunk of activities once organized can give you measurable and achievable results. I do believe that any business of whatever size will have to understand the six dimensions of customer service, namely: The Customer, The Service Concept, The Service Process, The Tools, The Business Plan and The Team.


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