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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Small Businesses: Good Customer Service is Part of Your Branding - Part 1

I can't tell you how many times I have stopped patronizing a store or service because of horrendous customer service. Whether your small business is part of a large franchise or you run your own business - your customer service is a major part of your small businesses brand.

I drive to a dry cleaner in the next town because my dry cleaner goes the extra mile with my order (no pun intended). He carries dry cleaning to my car and puts it in there for me. He runs my blouses through several times to remove stains - without me asking. His elite customer service is part of his brand. I could probably save money using coupons for a dry cleaner in my town, but I received bad customer service just ONE day and I moved on.

Remember the Saturn commercials from 10-15 years ago? They were an unknown brand. They built their brand on their customer service. Commercials showed customers enjoying themselves while shopping for a Saturn. They were treated with respect, given food to eat and were taken care of even after their purchase. Saturn focused on its "no haggle" pricing to appeal to consumers who just wanted to go into one of their dealerships to buy a car.

Start building your customer service branding by making sure the people who answer your phones are informed about your company and most importantly know how to work your phone system. It is easy to deter new customers if their calls are dropped because the receptionist doesn't know how to put calls through voicemail. Make sure temporary employees have access to phone directories and instructions on how to use your telephone system. Make sure they are told how to greet callers and guests.

Part II of Good Customer Service is Part of Your Branding will be about - New Business Calls.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Customers and Referral Sources
Show your best customers you care with corporate gifts. Tip: only sends gifts containing alcohol if you know the person drinks alcohol.:

Check out these baskets:

For The Whole Gang Gift Basket

Sweetest Sleigh Ride Gift Basket

Crowd Pleaser Gift Basket

Here are more wine baskets from Wine Country Gift Baskets at SHOP.COM

Clubs of America

Wine of the Month Club

Cigar of the Month Club

Beer of the Month Club

Chocolate of the Month Club

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