Ginaherald's Blog

August 20, 2010

You can cut the ad budget if you invest in customer service training

Filed under: Uncategorized — ginaherald @ 1:34 am

This economy, along with the competitive nature of the marketplace, you’d think would make companies get laser focused on things that are going to enhance their brand.  And maybe they are or they think they are.  Instead we find that marketing and training budgets are the first to get cut.  There’s little to no investment being made (by a lot of companies anyway), in strengthening their brand with existing customers or consistently putting it in front of potentially new customers.  And at a time when business is not as brisk is we’d like it to be, employees may have some time (unless of course they are doing the job of 3 people because of cut backs) to invest in professional development.

 This is a great time for companies to consider how they can invest in those employees who have “made the cut” and are still making a solid contribution to the company’s success.  Current leaders can use these slower times to do some focused work with up and comers who will be the next group of leaders.  It’s a perfect time to rededicate the team to exceptional customer experience.  If your company doesn’t have a clear service culture you’re missing out on a major opportunity to own your client’s loyalty over their lifetime as a customer.  Your customers have a lot of options these days and unless you set yourself apart in a meaningful way they’ll simply go elsewhere to spend what few dollars they are parting with right now.

Do you have a clear expectation set for your employees when it comes to customer experience?  Are they meeting the expectation?  Are they equipped and empowered to make decisions that serve your clients?  Do you set the example for them in everything you do as the owner, boss, manager, or leader?  Do you have a measurement in place?  How do you respond when the expectation is not met? 

It’s true that some people just think service, or the problem needs a solution by default and they make the job of customer service managers and leaders really easy.  For the rest they need someone to paint the picture for them and then provide an environment in which they can succeed.  Are you providing that at your company?  You won’t need as big of an ad budget if everyone is running around talking about how great it is to do business with your company, shop in your store, eat in your restaurant, stay in your hotel, be a member of your club, etc.  You can’t pay for that kind of advertising.  Got any thoughts on that?

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