“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
– Warren Buffett
Customer Service. As consumers, we all have different versions of what we think good customer service means, but at the ground level, good customer service makes a huge difference in how customers feel about a particular business and whether they choose to do business with them.
Pioneer Technology prides ourselves on delivering a consistent, high quality customer service experience. And we have the data to back it up: https://www.pioneerit.com/service-desk-support/ But truthfully, we work very hard and with purpose on this part of our business. Providing solid customer service aligns with our business goals, mission/vision, and even our values as people and as an IT managed service provider. It is important to us because we know how it feels to experience bad customer service – and we know many of our customers originally came to us because of their previous bad experiences. We also know we do not want to do business with those companies who have wronged us consistently in the past. In most industries there are enough competitors out there that you do not have to settle with bad service if you are not contractually obligated to do business with a vendor or partner. Again, we try to apply this logic to our own business as well, fully realizing there are other competitors offering managed services out there and you have options if you are not happy with the service we provide. And very often, good or great customer service is much more complex than “the customer is always right”.
Quality customer service, in our view, means having some or all of these qualities: good, consistent communication, easy access, flexibility, knowledge and expertise, hustle, transparency and honesty, and more. It means treating the customer as a person who needs help, not as someone to be judged or met with impatience for their potential ineptitude with technology. It means going out of one’s way to assist, even if the issue cannot be immediately resolved by the person taking the call or receiving the email. It might mean doing something for a customer, even if it means the company might make less money. As counter-intuitive as this may sound – it’s critical if you want to retain customers and keep them for a very long time. Companies are made of people, and people remember the good and they never forget the bad. With these high-level guidelines for customer service and what it means to us, there are also clear business benefits we have experienced by offering quality customer service and IT support:
Customer retention is less expensive than signing up new customers.
Our existing customers are more likely to purchase services from us if they already know about our overall service quality.
Other potential problems across the business seem to occur less often.
Our reputation and brand are strengthened, and in fact, we have had much success with word-of-mouth referrals which has led to more business.
Our partners have heard about our customer service and get more excited about sending business our way.
Another way we ensure consistently good customer service is we send out a Customer Satisfaction Survey at least once a year and collect honest feedback about the services we offer so that we can identify what is going well and what needs more attention. We are fortunate to have customers who are willing to share their experiences with us. The benefit is we can actually make decisions and corrections if something we are doing is not meeting our customers’ or our own expectations for where we want our service levels to be. It is easy to be proud of a company for doing the right thing and focusing on customers. But it’s also simply the right thing to do.
We know we are not the only ones who strive to offer quality customer service. We try to partner with companies who compliment us and place extensive effort on customer service as well so that the overall experience doesn’t change even if we are working through a partnership. Who do you know or work with that offers an awesome customer experience? Please let us know in the comments! -EB