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Turning new clients into loyal ones is the key to maximizing the returns on your marketing investment â?? and customer service is the way to do it. No doubt, there will always be a need for advertising your business, but this will diminish in time as more and more of your existing clients do the marketing for you via referrals. Always go out of your way to let your existing customers know that you appreciate their custom, by offering incentives like loyalty cards offering discounts on future purchases, or money-off coupons if they spend a certain amount during a set time. Explore as many avenues as you can to come up with innovative ideas to let your customers feel they are wanted. If possible, try to greet established customers by name every time they call into your business place, to create a sense of trust and familiarity.

Your Business Needs Customer Service

Good customer service will help you achieve customer satisfaction, and every member of your staff should be involved in it, not just the front office and the sales and marketing department. Your accounts people, warehouse and packing staff may not have direct contact with your clients, but they are still part of the team and their conduct will reflect on your client's view on your business. So, identify your valuable clients, recognize the level of service they require and develop a customer service standards programme to suit them.

Dealing with Customer Complaints

Whenever a client takes the trouble to complain, you should:

â?¢ Acknowledge receipt of the letter or telephone call.
â?¢ Tell the client the timescale within which you expect to be able to deal with the problem.
â?¢ Thank the client for bringing the problem to your attention.

Make sure that the member of staff dealing with the customer's complaint is confident and aware that the firm's management will support his decisions. It's absolutely vital that you record all complaints as they surface, as well as tracking them through the system until they are resolved to the customer's satisfaction in the shortest possible timeframe.

If you are a small business owner, customer service and complaint handling are the areas where you can outshine your rivals. Existing customers are important to you and you must not neglect them for the sake of getting new ones. Let them be aware of your customer service agenda and remove any obstacles you can that might prevent them from doing business with you.

Author Valerie Inningtondate added 2009-08-25 16:35:35

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