Never Be Too Busy to Serve Customers Well

“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible” – Seth Godin

The business world is a busy place with everyone working at break-neck speed and fortunes changing by the minute. The reason for any business is customers hence it does not make sense to ever be too busy to serve customers well – more so because the customers of today are unwilling to settle for anything less than the best and expect consistent treatment and service at any time of the year – even the busiest. Customers have enough options now to want to wait around to be served by a company, irrespective of any situation, and are easily frustrated when they are not given the attention they expect and deserve. As a customer, you too would wonder what a company is too busy with, when you the customer is waiting to be served. You know how frustrating it is when you call a company and hear a message that says that your call is important to them but due to high call volumes, you could hold or call later, and then find yourself waiting endlessly to be heard. This is repeated each time you actually call back, leading to a resolve to leave the company for good.

If a company appears to be too busy to serve customers well, it would be putting itself in the path of a tidal wave of negativity and angry customers. When customers do not receive service in a timely manner, they would resort to venting their ire by speaking to their friends, family, and associates and post negative comments about the company over social media. Not only does this damage the company’s reputation, but also scares potential customers away. Recovering from such negativity and dent in the reputation proves to be near impossible for most companies and in the scramble to get things back on track, current service and attention to customers suffers, making it a double whammy for companies. It would be better to serve customers well irrespective of the time of the year – busy or lean – customers expect and deserve top class service.

Is your company equipped to serve customers well even during the busiest times of the year or are you too busy and ignore the very reason your company is in business? Being able to serve customers well consistently requires a robust strategy and a meticulous proactive plan, especially well before the busiest times of the year. Companies must ramp up their service abilities by providing training to their employees, and consider several methods that would ensure customers receive top class service in the most frenzied periods of the year. Everyone in the company must understand their role and must contribute to making the company a success by serving customers well, especially during times of high-speed growth and a frenetic pace of business – after all, business from customers accelerates the growth of a company. Planning will not only allow a business to serve customers well during busy times, it would also help the company to stay on target to achieve their goals and deliver on the promises it would have made to its customers. This in turn earns the company a reputation of being efficient and customer focused, setting it apart from its competitors and ensuring that customers keep coming back and recommending it to others as well.

To plan for periods and to ensure that your company is never too busy to serve customers well, it would be vital to look at historical data that would provide some insights into what kind of business a company can expect during similar periods in the current time. The good news is that with the latest technology access to and analysis of such historical data is no longer difficult. Comparisons from previous years in terms of the number of customers, work-force deployment, and other related data, would help a company to anticipate the kind of peak demand they would face in the current time. By making such comparisons, a company would know if they would need more staff and or additional and technology to handle the customer rush. Another important factor to consider is the levels of satisfaction that customers had in the previous years, and the reasons for complaints and compliments in the past. Doing so will help a company to enhance the good and put in measures to prevent the repeat of any poor performance. This would also help a company to plan for, recruit, and additional temporary staff to manage the peak season, ensuring that the company never appears too busy to serve customers well.

Using data from previous years, a company would be better equipped to make a reasonably accurate estimate of the number of queries from customers it is likely to receive. It would easier to assign tasks, plan workflows, and put teams in place to manage the peak period demand. When each person in a company is pulling their weight to achieve the goals of the company and to serve customers well, despite an overloaded time of the year, it would be extremely easy to for a company to achieve its targets.

We have discussed previously too, the importance and utility of ramping up self-help service for customers across all online channels. Doing so will not only reduce the number of calls and emails received by the company, but also help customers to find whatever they want without too much effort. Customers could simply log in to their preferred channel and get the basic information they need. From the company’s perspective, providing efficient self-help service could prove to be the difference between success and failure – research shows that at least 52% customers abandon their online purchase mid-way if they are unable to find answers to their questions on the channel of their choice, immediately. A company must ensure that information and data across all channels remains consistent and updated at all times, such that whichever channel customers choose, they receive their answers.

Internally too, a company must support a centralized database of customer information – regularly updated and easily accessible to all teams that deal directly with customers. This will enable the teams to respond swiftly and accurately to customer queries, thereby saving a lot of time and effort for themselves and the customers. Such kind of service is what customers seek at all times, remaining connected with companies that provide it and shunning companies that appear too busy to serve them. Any business owner and those working in customer service would know that deviating from good service at any time could be extremely detrimental to the financial health and sound reputation of the company. Listening attentively to customers to ascertain their emotions, moods, feelings, and pain points, would ensure that a company could become the preferred ‘partner’ for a very large base of customers, who in turn would be happy to promote your company and its offerings to a market and base of customers that you may not even know existed. Think of all the business and revenues your company can earn, and the reputation it can build, simply by putting in measures to always be available to serve customers well.

While it may seem like the customers of today have become more demanding and have unusually high expectations of service, the fact is that a company should never be too busy to serve them well. Customers have very low tolerance for shoddy service and are extremely likely to switch companies if they believe the company is not treating them with the respect they deserve. The last thing any company can afford in such a competitive market is to let the quality of its service fall, since recovery from poor service is often extremely hard and sometimes in vain. Seamless and top quality service to customers even in the busiest of times will keep them happy, loyal, and profitable – choosing your company over others at all times. Serve your customers well and reap rich rewards – simple yet complicated!

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