Sometimes the price of progress sounds expensive and doing nothing feels like the most attractive option. However, doing nothing might have the highest cost of all. Have you considered the low cost of customer service?
You might feel too tired to brush your teeth. You might be in too much of a hurry to change the oil in your car. Moreover, who really needs the security software upgrade?
The truth is that the best time for any of those things are before you encounter a problem.
After the cavity, after the check engine light, and after your PC is locked up it is much harder. It will be much more difficult to turn the situation around and certainly much more expensive.
Maintain or Replace
Most people will quickly identify with the concept that establishing new customers is much more expensive than maintaining them. Most businesses will tell you they recognize this and that it is an underlying principle they live by. If true, what is the budget?
Is there a budget for your dental care, a budget for your oil change, and a budget for software upgrades? Frankly, it will cost less to maintain than to replace, yet sometimes these items slip through the cracks.
Cost of Customer Service
What should be in your customer service budget?
Probably many things but here are three that are often taken for granted:
- Training. Sometimes the more we know the less we do. Conceptually we often have a good idea on how to care for the customer, but do we really do it? Training sometimes is about building, maintaining and reinforcing habits. It’s not always about discovery.
- Appreciation. Appreciation is not a day, sale, or a clever slogan. Appreciation is a feeling. Invest some of your budget on showing your customers how much you care. It might be as simple as a thank you or it might be something they value and didn’t expect.
- Adding Value. Yes, value is connected to price but it might not always be hidden in the bar code. Value often has a direct connection to quality and the cost of ownership. In any customer relationship, it starts with the customer experience.
What is your budget for maintaining customers? Your cost of customer service might be lower than you think. It will cost you less to maintain than it does to repair or replace.
Some might say, “I already know this.” If you know it, are you doing something about it?
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.