Customer service is literally everywhere you look. And who doesn’t love good customer service? Having a business, I breathe customer service. During the last two years since I’ve started my business, I’ve been gung-ho about customer service. I’m that person who tries to make sure you are getting your money’s worth. “Girl I can meet you instead of you paying for shipping.” “Oh, you’re allergic to this oil? I can use another base oil for you.” I try to treat each encounter as if I am the customer. I’ve had my share of horror stories as a customer and I’ve heard my share of them as well. Good customer service is a must! They are the reason we continue to stay in business.
So I know you’ve heard of “The customer is always right.” Do you agree? Honestly, I always said, “The customer is always right, sometimes.” LOL…I will always try my best to accommodate all my customers. Sometimes it doesn’t work that way. For the most part, though, my customers are going to be taken care of. I worked in retail customer service for 3 years while in college and I had great customers. Most of them knew I’d always get them what they needed. I’m sure we had some bad experiences working in retail but as I’m writing this I can’t think of many. I enjoyed working retail (minus the holidays) and it showed. Funny how I always said I wouldn’t work retail again, and started my own business selling products anyway. It wasn’t the job in itself that kept me from wanting to be in retail, it was the way the company was run. With my own business, I can do things my way and even have my holidays off! :)
Let me say this. Please love what it is you’re doing. If you hate your job, it’s going to be known and most definitely shown. You won’t take care of your customers the same as someone who loves theirs. Anyone else goes through the fast food line and can honestly say, “dang they hate their job”? I’ve been there more than a few times. I remember I was with my aunt one morning after Black Friday shopping. We stopped for breakfast and the girl at the drive-through window had a STANK attitude. My aunt said, “I’m sorry you don’t like your job.” I could have died in the front seat. Seriously though, if you’re going to have a job or run a business that is CUSTOMER service based, please be a little more customer friendly. You may have to take a loss here and there to accommodate your customers. As a business owner, you have to know when to take the losses and when to stand on what you believe to be right. I’m sure we all have heard in some way or another that bad customer service goes a long way. You can have good customer service and some people will hear about it but when you have bad service, THE WORLD will hear about it. Be mindful!
Now just because you’re in customer service doesn’t mean you have to allow people to take advantage of you. There's DEFINITELY a difference in the two. Your customers aren’t ALWAYS right. This is your business and you’re entitled to run it the way you see fit. Don’t let them run over you! Just be mindful that to set all expectations up front so that there isn’t much back and forth when it comes to the service you’re providing. Are your fees set and easily understood? Is shipping included? Make it plain as day and leave no room for gray areas! One of the worst things you could do as a business owner is come up with an additional fee after the initiating a sale with a customer.
I asked a group of people their take on small businesses from a customer standpoint. Here are some of the responses I received back:
Astronomical prices for low-quality SERVICE (← there’s that word again)
You can have a great product but it means nothing if you back up what you are offering with bad service, slow turnarounds, and treating your customers like because they’re “the homie” they should understand.
Don’t accept more orders/requests for service than you are equipped to produce/handle.
The customer drives the business. “I have other things going on” is not a valid excuse.
Be competitive with your product; everyone is selling the same things.
Responding in a timely manner; over communication is better than no communication. Keep the customer involved.
Apologize even when it’s not your (business owner) fault.
If you had to take anything from this blog post, remember, we too will always be a customer. Whether it’s a small business or not, being on both ends of the spectrum gives us the extra experience to get things right. And things won’t always go as we would like. When you have established a respectable business, your customers will be more lenient with you as opposed to others. Be honest and transparent. Keep your customers involved as most will understand. Stay on top of your business so that you won’t fall in the circle of businesses that always have an excuse for something not going right. After all, we all want successful and thriving businesses. Don’t let your ignorance to your customer's expectations be the downfall of it.
P.S. If you haven't had a chance to check out the new scents added to our collection, play the video below.
Until next time, Peace and Love!! :)