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  • Customer Service Beliefs that Can Hurt Your Business

    Hurt Business photo from ShutterstockBusiness owners understand that customer service is an important aspect of building repeat and referral business. But some beliefs and ideas around customer service may actually hurt business. Here are some common customer service beliefs you should rethink.

    Customers only care about price

    Few people want to pay more than they have too, but price is mostly an issue when quality and service is the same. The customer’s experience with you is a bigger predictor of whether or not he’ll pay more especially for a similar or same product. Sure, many people buy on Amazon, but what if the local bookstore offers personalized service and can put the book in the customer’s hand right now as opposed to two days from now? Along with price, level of service, speed of delivery and selection also influence consumer buying decisions.

    If there’s a problem, customers will let you know

    According to Salesforce, only about 25 percent of customers complain when there is a problem. That means only 1 out of 4 people who are unhappy are letting you know. Or in other words, for every one person who complains there are 3 more who are unhappy but haven’t said anything. So even if you don’t get many emails or calls regarding your products or service, you can bet that there are people having trouble who aren’t saying anything. Instead, they’re finding another business to give their money to.

    All customers are alike

    A lot of emphasis is put on target marketing; defining the specifics of your most likely buyer and then directing your marketing attention toward those people. But while your target market shares many similar traits, not everyone is alike. Each customer will come to you with similar needs, but the reasons for that need will vary. The more you can personalize your customers’ experience, the better you can serve them and the more valued they feel.

    Customers don’t care about loyalty

    If there is one thing to be learned by social media, it’s that consumers like to talk about the companies they buy from. They share the good, bad and the ugly about their experiences from the time they research their purchase, to spending their money and finally using the product or service. While consumers may be more likely to talk about the bad, they do share the good and many consumers will not only become loyal, but also evangelists if they love your products and services and the experiences they have doing business with you.

    Customers are always right

    As a business owner, you know this isn’t true. Every entrepreneur has a horror story that highlights how wrong this statement is. I once had someone demand a refund on a product I didn’t create or sell. So, no, customers aren’t always right. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to yell at or demean customers. What it does mean is that you need to find a balance between listening to customers’ frustrations even if they’re mistaken and then professionally and helpfully seeking a solution to the problem.

    It costs a lot to keep customers happy

    True, customer service takes time and money, but it’s much cheaper to keep a customer than to find a new one. Happy customers are more likely to stick with you and tell others about you. making repeat and referral business is the most cost effective form of marketing there is.  Further, most customer service complaints are relatively fast and easy to fix.

    Leslie Truex is a career design expert who has been helping people find or create work that fits their lifestyle goals since 1998 through her website Work-At-Home Success. She is the author of “The Work-At-Home Success Bible” and “Jobs Online: How To Find a Get Hired to a Work-At-Home Job”. She's appeared on CNN.com, Fox Business, Redbook and a host of other media outlets discussing telecommuting, home business and other flexible career option. She speaks regularly on career-related topics, including telecommuting, home business, marketing, personal development and authorship. Learn more about her at LeslieTruex.com.

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