“It doesn’t take a lot of poor customer service for a customer to start looking for a replacement.” That message was shared with me this past week by a new customer who had just signed a new engagement letter for service with McGladrey. Thankfully, she was speaking about her former business solution provider. Although the thought occurred to me that her comment might also be a warning to us as well, implying “give me the results I’m seeking or I’ll find someone else.” Her statement was blunt and to the point and a serious message that all businesses need to heed or pay the consequences. Customers are tired of poor service.
It’s hard for anyone to please everyone all of the time, but that is the current expectation and the standard that more and more customers are holding businesses to these days. Customers are demanding not just good service, but great service! They are expecting our “A” game every time they interact with us and if we can’t provide them with the quality service they are expecting, they will find someone else who can.
There is an old adage that a happy customer may recommend your product or service to two or three people, but an unhappy customer could tell as many as twelve to fifteen other people about their “terrible experience” with your company. With the power and speed of the Internet, an unhappy customer can create your worst nightmare. They can complain to thousands of people with very little effort using tools like Facebook, twitter, and countless blogs. Moreover, they are only a few clicks away from finding your replacement on the Internet. Other customers who might feel they have similar issues are very likely to join in and add their voice to the complaints. All of a sudden you have a chorus of unhappy customers singing your swan song.
From a business prospective, retaining customers is absolutely critical to the survival of the business. In today’s economic climate, many businesses can ill afford to lose even one customer, let alone survive a situation like the one described above. Great customer aervice is the key to retaining customers. Retaining customers is critical to the survival of the business. So how does a company achieve and maintain delivering great customer service. As my daddy always said, “If you want to be successful, imitate successful people;” that holds true for business as well. Businesses wanting to deploy great customer service should imitate the best practices of successful business.
What then do successful businesses have in common that allows them to provide a great customer service experience? First, great customer service has to be one of the company’s top priorities. It must start with the top management of the company and be reinforced all the way down the food chain. It can’t be just lip service. Customers are smart enough to tell the difference. Second, it must be measured. Nothing important gets done in business unless it’s measured and individuals are held accountable. Successful companies implement a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to help them measure, track their results and hold themselves accountable.
CRM is a deliberate business strategy and a computer software application designed to help business automate the business processes needed to reinforce the best practices to achieve great customer service and measure their results. At McGladrey, we recommend and support Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. In addition to automating business processes, Dynamics CRM is designed to help your company spend more time selling, drive sales efficiency, maximize revenue, empower your marketing staff, drive marketing efficiency, target the right prospects, boost service productivity, deliver service efficiency and help you meet the service expectations demanded by your customers.
If you need help improving your “A” game in customer service, give us a call. We can help! We are well versed in Customer Relationship Management business strategy and are specialists in tailoring the Microsoft Dynamics CRM software solution to fit your needs. If you are looking for a CRM partner, have a new CRM project or need help with an existing CRM project, request a Rapid Assessment SM with our CRM professionals to evaluate your CRM options and identify a road map for your success.
By: Mark Soltis – Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner Kansas City