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March 21, 2014 — A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.
By Bruce Morse, WSBDC Region 2 director
“Whatever happened to customer service?" Jen, Cody
I hear people complain about it quite a bit, but I also occasionally hear about a great service experience, so it does still exist.
It seems like everyone and their uncle offers training on this topic, from chambers of commerce to community colleges, yet it doesn’t seem to improve. The irony in my experience with workshops about improving service is that the people who tend to sign up are those who already get it and provide good service in their establishments. You never see the folks who really need it.
I recently read in a newsletter that according to a study by the research firm CRMGuru, the main reason customers leave a business is not because of price or the fact their needs have changed, but rather because of bad service (75 percent) or poor quality (52 percent). This statistic should clearly tell us that we need to do better. But how?
I believe the place to start is in the hiring process. Small business owners or managers should first look to hire the right personality for the positions being filled. If they are front-line clerks or salespeople, they need to be friendly and able to engage the customer in a professional manner. You can train them to “do the job,” but you can’t usually change their demeanor.
Also, spell out the expectations right from the start, and if they can’t live with the guidelines you expect, keep looking. Spending the time up front will pay off in the long run.
For more information about this or other human resource issues, contact a local SBDC office.
A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at http://wyen.biz/blog1/.
The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.