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No Recession for Customer Service

The current economic conditions have created a growing concern among
many businesses, and also consumers. The specific causes for the
downturn have been attributed to everything from the way banks lend
money, to the weak U.S. dollar, consumer reluctance, or Mercury being
in retrograde. Whatever the reason, good business practices and
maintaining good relationships with customers by skilled customer
service professionals are keys to thriving in growth cycles and
surviving during slow periods too.

With help from San Diego’s
North Island Credit Union, here are some tips for businesses that wish
to enhance their chances for long-term success, even in an economic
recession. They suggest that you do these five customer-related things
well:

  1. Be Different.   Krispy
    Kreme makes millions of doughnuts daily, yet, they have two small
    differences from other doughnut chains – First, they replaced walls
    with glass so children and parents alike could be amazed by the
    automated doughnut production. Second, every customer is welcomed with
    a free, fresh doughnut hot off the line!
  2. Nuture Sales.   80%
    of your business comes from 20% of your customers. Find ways to thank
    customers all year. Personal notes or emails are good, or introducing
    frequent buyer and referral incentives.
  3. Create Sizzle.   Avoid
    peaks and valleys caused by too much focus on the day-to-day business.
    Embrace a marketing plan that combines strategic and frequent
    advertising buys with ongoing public relations, special events, direct
    mail and email promos.
  4. Stick to It.   Define
    specific actions for each week. Qualify potential customers.
    Communicate value. Refine your offerings and keep building
    relationships.
  5. Be Prepared.   Keep
    good records and perform against the plan that enabled you to secure
    your first business loans. Include a data base of customers so you do
    not lose touch with your greatest source of income – the all important
    20% group.

Even in tougher times, the customer is still King and Queen.

D.C.

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