For many years, the axiom in business has been, “The customer is always right”, for the simple reason that keeping the customer happy and satisfied is the key to repeat business, and ongoing, sustainable business.
Why then is customer service becoming rarer in businesses today, not unlike the disappearance of the prairie sentinel, the grain elevator?
This is not to say there is no customer service available today, but it used to be the norm in businesses; for example, when one filled up with gas, there was always someone to wash the windshield and check the oil for you. Now, that service is non-existent as most “service” stations have become “self-serve”, including the function of window-washing and oil-checking.
What is the importance of good customer service? Business experts agree, and indeed teach, that customer service is key to maintaining good customer relations, and to growing a successful business. The business builds up a certain level of trust in the customer when a sales person is willing to take the time to talk to the customer and find out exactly what their needs or wishes are for a product or service.
Not only is the personal contact with a customer important, but getting feedback on how a company is perceived by their customers or the business community is also valuable, as the business owners determine how they should conduct their business, and train their employees accordingly.
The Weyburn Chamber of Commerce could play a key role in this regard, since they act as a resource for the business community, as well as a body to lobby for business issues with all levels of government.
If the Chamber could arrange for some seminars for their business members to take, perhaps this would help get the word out to businesses in the area of what they should or should not be doing in terms of meeting their customers’ needs.
Good customer service is basically people-to-people contact, and this makes the biggest impression on a customer; nothing will impress a customer more, after being in stores where there are aisle after aisle of products, but there is no one around to answer questions, find a product or otherwise be of assistance.
Weyburn is in a good position to grow and expand the business community — but this won’t occur unless and until businesses actively promote good customer service to all customers. — Greg Nikkel