I hear so many complaints about customer service. Friends complain about the checkers at the grocery stores not helping them find products. They complain about barristas with bad attitudes who don’t serve the coffee with a smile. They talk about restaurant servers who get an attitude when they point out an error was made with their order.
Customer service is extremely important to a successful business. Whether you are selling coffee or books, great customer service is essential. On average, a business loses about 20% of their customers just by failing to tend to customer relationships.
As publishers and authors, we must also be customer service conscious. From time to time, as Director of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA), I will field a call from a customer of one of our member publishers. These customers have taken the time to look CSPA up in a desperate attempt to acquire help in getting their issues resolved with a publisher. Usually the complaint has to do with a problem with an order and the publisher is not returning the customer’s phone calls or emails. Sometimes, the grievance is that their emails are not being returned and a phone number is not listed on the publisher’s website.
A recent Customer Experience Impact Report by Oracle found that consumers will commit (or return and buy again) to a brand if the company provides the following:
- Friendly employees or customer service representatives (73%)
- The ability to easily find the information or help they need (i.e. phone calls and emails returned) (55%)
- Personalized experiences (36%)
Do you want to improve your customer relations? Then start with being available to your customers.
Your website should contain a physical address where you can be reached, a phone number where you can be reached, and an email contact. This allows your customers to choose when, where, and how they want to contact you. Once you have done this, be sure to answer inquiries from customers and potential customers that come to you through these various venues.