Spark into Marketing

Marketing and Inspiration for small businesses

Customer Service … the best marketing?

Good customer service is often the most reliable way for a customer to know if they have a good service.

Before you work with someone they don’t really know how good you are.  If they do not have a direct comparison with a similar service they still may not know even after the job has ended.  In many cases your best customers will be those who have experienced problems with another supplier.

Good customers service means finishing the job completely.

Completing a project cleanly keeps you looking good in your customer’ eyes, and demonstrates your competence.  The trouble is that jobs often drag on, and change shape without having a sense of completion.

In fact your customers may not really know whether you have done a good job or not, but they will certainly be able to tell if the project is not completed.

I was reminded of this recently as I discovered a leak in a radiator and needed to call a plumber urgently.  My normal plumber did not reply, so I called another who had been recommended as good value and reliable. He came promptly, and all seemed to be well, and I was thinking in my own mind that I could use this new plumber in future as he is much more local. As carpets were getting soaked, and water was pouring down walls I didn’t get comparison quotes – I needed quick action.

Job not completed

After the new radiator was installed, and the plumber had gone I glanced outside and noticed the old radiator propped up against a wall.  Now I may not be an expert on plumbing but I certainly know customer service when I see it.  I expected the old radiator to have been taken away.  It is extremely heavy, and I have no way of disposing of it at all.  So I had to phone the plumber up and ask him to take it away.  He did so, but without an apology and rather grudgingly.

Poor customer service

I have no reason to believe the plumbing is not first class, but I am not capable of judging it fully.  The leak has stopped.  Of the aspects of the job I can judge, I would say that his customer service falls short.  So he did not wow me.  The next day my original plumber returned my call as he had been away on holiday and apologised.  Next time he will – yet again – be my first phone call.

We all have the equivalent of the radiator in our business, so we don’t leave anything incomplete, and finish the job cleanly.

The final parts of a project are in many ways even more important than the beginning.  Where things have gone wrong it is a chance to get back on track, and where they have gone right you can look back together knowing the work has been completed well.

The final assessment, or even a thank you helps to cleanly finish one scope of work, and tidy up.  It brings a sense of completeness and helps you to look good in your customer’s eyes.

If you do it really well you will get that wow factor working for you and are recommended to others.  This is when the best marketing in the world is simply excellent customer service.

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