There’s no middle ground in business. If you’re not providing quality customer service, your business will fail.
The most overlooked part of a business is service. Nearly all resellers know that they need to offer a good product, fair price, and proper marketing. But many sellers do not realize that service is equally as important as the other three aspects of a business. Customer service can make or break a business.
One of the most common traits among failing businesses today: the dedication (or lack thereof) to provide a friendly and helpful customer service experience to every customer — every customer, every day. Companies that provide excellent customer service experiences, not only before and during the sale but long after, are the ones that thrive.
Most people believe Blockbuster’s model became obsolete due to new technologies, especially video streaming. But that’s not exactly true. Well before the popularity of video streaming, Blockbuster was in trouble. Most people are not aware that Blockbuster Video failed because of bad service.
Blockbuster developed a reputation for being a giant corporation that charged outrageous late fees and cared little for what its customers wanted. By the time Blockbuster decided to finally listen to its customers and reduce late fees, offer video streaming and improve its attitude, it was too late. The damage had been done. Despite coming up with a price point that rivaled Netflix, consumers still decided they didn't want to give Blockbuster their business.
During tough economic times, customer service and engagement is more important than ever. Smart businesses understand that while demand for products or services may drop, the demand for customer service never does - and it's these companies that are likely to fare better than their competitors in tough times.
I recently had a rather negative experience with a software company. This company has a fantastic product that is exactly what I have been seeking. I paid for a premium package but for some reason, I could not get the software to work properly. I’m no slouch as far as technology is concerned but after reviewing the tutorial videos, no dice. I emailed my problem to the company several times only to receive automated replies. When I called and finally spoke to a human being, I was told that the software works 98% of the time. I’m obviously among the 2% and asked for assistance. The representative said his desk was full, he was sick and that I should review the videos. Here is a classic example of a company with an exemplary product with awful customer support. Will I return? No, and I will tell everyone I know about this frustrating experience.
As a seller you know the online marketplace is highly competitive. There are many sellers out there selling the similar items on multiple platforms to yours. One way to differentiate your store is pricing but another, and most importantly are customer service. Sellers that go the extra mile with quick, knowledgeable replies to inquiries, quick shipping and service after the sale are the ones that rise to the top.
Proper marketing of a quality product at a fair price with excellent customer service is key to a thriving business.