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Business Bits - Customer Service

Monday, August 30, 2010

Topic: Customer Service

I love my buyers. Really, I do. I love hearing their stories, reading their feedback, & writing their personalized gift messages.  I fill with glee when a customer returns to my shop....and my gratitude swells when they come back again...and again.

I try to make customer service a priority. But, just like almost every aspect, it's something to continually improve, rethink, and reflect upon.

This quote I read in Inc. Magazine last week really hit home:
"The cost of acquiring a new customer is five times that of retaining an existing one."

I found it in their How To: Deliver Great Service Guide (a fantastic read) and it reminded me of a few particular buyers and how they have really helped shape & grow my business. I re-realized that the word "cost" isn't always about money...sometimes it's about the cost of time, hard work, energy, hope, and ideas.

-One buyer has been purchasing my baby sets since the very beginning - she trusts me to send large orders to her friends & family all over the country...dozens of times over.  This alone has given me confidence in what I'm doing. 
-Another buyer often writes with fabulous ideas & waits patiently while I try them out. She then gives my creations as gifts & write long, kind, and thoughtful feedback.  Working with her as taught me to stretch myself, remain flexible, and improves my craft.
- One of my most remarkable buyers returns again and again & has a made a point to share my shop with others. She works and travels internationally and has referred my shop to co-workers in New York City and given out my card in Amsterdam.  There is no amount of marketing or ingenenuity that could replace the word of mouth advertising & support she has given my business.

So that quote has got me thinking....

-What more can I offer to improve the relationships with my customers?
-How can I better show my appreciation to buyer?
-Where have I shopped and received incredible customer service...can I implement this same feeling?
-What does my buyer feedback say (or not say) about how to improve?

What customer services have you found remarkable & kept you coming back to a shop?