Five Customer Service Tips
Written by {ga=sechler}    Friday, 26 March 2010 04:58   
Economics & Enterprise
Loyal customers are worth their weight in gold, and that’s not just a cliché. Studies have shown that businesses often spend five to six times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one.

Over the long term, those dollars add up. In fact, a company’s skill at caring for its customers often determines its survivability in the marketplace.

Make customers happy and they’ll stick with you; disappoint them and they’ll tell their friends.

Fortunately, building customer loyalty isn’t rocket science (even if you’re in the business of building rockets). It’s a matter of focusing on a few basics, like the following:

1.     Hire friendly people.

Grumpy salesmen and bashful receptionists don’t generate repeat business. The staff you employ should enjoy interacting with people. Of course everyone has a bad day now and then. But if your employees regularly hide out in the back room instead of greeting clients, it’s time to take a hard look at your hiring practices.

2.     Invite customer feedback.

This can be as simple as spending a few minutes with a customer to inquire about his or her experience with your firm. Get specific. Don’t just ask, “How was our customer service today?” Instead inquire, “Did our salesman answer all your questions about XYZ product?” You might also establish a focus group of customers to solicit ideas for improving your products and services.

3.     Follow up.

If customers spend valuable time providing their opinions via surveys, suggestion boxes, or focus groups, don’t

ignore what they have to say. Let them know that you take their ideas seriously and are looking for ways to implement at least some of their suggestions.

4.     Never stop training.

Often employees treat customers rudely or disrespectfully because they simply lack training in proper etiquette. Show them the proper way to answer phone calls, how to

make eye contact and smile, how to help without being pushy. With a little focused training, most people can learn good customer service skills. Take time up-front to develop these skills in your employees, and you’ll reap dividends in customer loyalty.

5.     Model proper behavior.

Simply put, the boss should exemplify top-notch customer service. If staff see you treating clients poorly, don’t be surprised if they assume that such behavior is acceptable.

Remember: it’s easier to keep an existing client than to beat the bushes for a new one. It’s cheaper, too.

2010 Mileage Rates

Beginning January 1, 2010, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

50 cents per mile for business miles driven

16.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes

14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The new rates are slightly lower than last year. The business rate is the standard rate used for reimbursement of employee mileage by businesses.

Contact Carolyn Sechler at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

“Business Tips” are published monthly to provide useful business information. Return to my site every month for helpful suggestions on how to make your business more profitable. If you would like more information on anything in “Business Tips,” or if you’d like to be on our mailing list to receive other business, tax, or financial information from time to time, please contact our office.


By Carolyn Sechler, CPA PC

© copyright 2010 SECHLER CPA PC 



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