"There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer. It
is the customer who determines what a business is. What the business think it produces
is not of first importance - especially not to the future of the business and to its
success. What the customer thinks he is buying and considers 'value' is decisive - it
determines what a business is, what it produces and whether it will prosper." -
as summarized by Peter Drucker, 1989,(3).
In the past, what happened was that a business just produced a product and sold it
to the customer. Oftentimes, it was just a one-shot deal and a case of 'just too bad for
the customer' if something went wrong.
The scenario is radically different in today's hyper-competitive business environment.
Customers are continuously adapting to their ever-changing einvironments. They're now
more educated, better informed, more value conscious and demand more for their dollar.
Their expectations of the companies and the people they buy from is much higher and
they tend to avoid buyer-seller negotiations. They're no longer willing to be pushed
around anymore by businesses. In short, they want better customer service.
Importance of Customer Service
Customer service is one of the greatest keys to your business success. It can
literally make or break you. This is so because your entire business, marketing, sales
and profits depend on your customers. You're in business to generate profits by selling
your products and servcies to people who need and want to buy. Customers want to know
how you can make their lives better or easier and/or how you can relieve them of their
It follows that whatever you do must be carefully designed to meet and satisfy the
needs of your customers as it's the foundation for a growing and profitable business.
The decision you make must be based on the situation, what the customers want and how
it affects your business. Treat every service situation as unique. Interact with each
customer as an individual and treat him/her that way he or she wants to be treated.
Great marketing acquires new customers for you, but it's great customer service
that ensures that the customers keep coming back to you as people tend to do business with
people they like and trust, and therefore, are more likely to be loyal and continue to
buy from those who provide them with excellent customer service.
Surveys have shown that most customers quit because of an indifferent attitude towards
them from the business owner, managers and/or employees. A typical business will only
hear from a handful of dissatisfied customers; most of your customers will just quietly
go away and never come back.
To further compound the problem, a typical dissatisfied customer will tell an average
of 7 to 10 people about his problem and your bad service.
This is a serious financial loss for those of you who don't know how to treat your
customers right; for those who do, it represents a tremendous gain.
Implications for Large and Small Businesses
In light of these, not many business can succeed for any length of time without the
comprehensive care and diligent servicing of their customers.
To a large extent, customer service has levelled the playing field for the small
business owners who sell similar products as their bigger competitors. It opens up a
treasure chest of opportunities. It provides them with the opportunity to differentiate
themselves from the competition.
For large companies, they'll need to act fast to accommodate the customers by
revisiting and fine-tuning their policies and procedures. They musn't let inflexible
rules and regulations, policies and procedures stop them from making their customer
Total Customer Satisfaction Program
Rosenberg, 1996, (1) defined that customer satisfaction is the degree to which
a customer's expectations of a product or service are inline with what the product
To address the ever-changing customer demands, the answer lies in implementing a
total customer satisfaction program. A program that shift the paradigm from product
centric to customer relationship centric. A program that provides the competitive edge
to your customers and is designed to help you gain, and retain customers for life.
A total customer satisfaction program benefits you in several ways:
- increase repeat purchase;
- increase the dollar value of purchase;
- ease your cashflow;
- creates positive word-of-mouth promotion for your company;
- differentiate you from your competition;
- minimize price sensitivity;
- improve employee morale;
- retains your customers;
- increase your productivity;
- foster better employee/supplier relatioship
In the final analysis, when every business, large and small, start to promote superior
customer service, the differentiating factor will be the delivery of your promises. You
must be able to 'walk the talk that you talk', or customers will take their business
somewhere else. 'Talking the talk' is no longer enough, in fact, it'll harm your
Management must first recognize that customer service is crucial to the success of
their business because it'll ensure the customers' commitment and loyalty to the buisness.
Your ability to focus exclusively on your customers' needs rather than your own, and
servicing those customers far beyond what your competitors do, will ensure that your
business will be far more profitable than you ever dreamed of.
About the Author
Copyright 2005 by Larry Lim, MarketingSphere.com
Larry Lim is a marketing strategist and tactician who dishes out highly
effective marketing strategies and tactics that will enable you to successfully
start and grow your business on the Internet.
Check out his Internet Marketing Strategy
website that is jam-packed with internet marketing secrets and softwares that will
skyrocket your sales, and shoot your profits through the roof.
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