April  2005      Vol. 14, No. 4  REAP HOME PAGE  A publication of the Center for Rural Affairs    
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Your Customer Expects Great Service

The time of saying “We give great customer service” is long gone, so don’t even consider it a benefit. Not only great but outstanding service is no longer a plus but a critical necessity. Without it, what does a small business really have to offer?

You’re not going to beat the big boys on price, they just won’t let you. And even if they did, how would you survive with the low profits?

You’re not going to beat them on selection or inventory; they have way more money to invest and can wait longer to turn it. So what do you have left, except outstanding customer service?

It all starts with the owner or partners and must be drilled into employees regularly. Without constant training, supervision, rewards, and direction, service can slip and so can your profits. In today’s business and consumer world, the buyer wants good quality, a fair price, and to be treated like you care about their purchase.

There is always someone else they can buy from, so you need to give them a reason to come back to you. The owner, if possible, or designated manager, needs to observe and talk to customers to be sure they are satisfied with the service part of their purchase.

Ask what improvements they would like to see and assure them you will seriously consider their suggestions. Putting service over price can assure the repeat business that we all need to survive.


Source: Small Business Marketing Idea-Letter, December 2004
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