DAWN GRACIE It’s actually customer service which is king

THE OLD saying ‘the customer is king’ is almost right – it should be ‘customer service is king’.

If we think hard enough, we can all recall a positive experience where a shop assistant has gone out of their way to help us with our purchase or we’ve had a special dining experience made even more memorable because of the way the staff looked after us, and no doubt we passed these happy stories on to our friends.

However, what makes even better gossip fodder and springs to mind a lot quicker is the bad customer service experiences we’ve had. The stroppy shop assistant, the waitress that ignored us despite our best efforts to catch their attention. An unhappy customer will make this bad headline run and run, and the story will undoubtedly be twisted and changed along the way, sabotaging your business reputation in a nightmare game of Chinese whispers.

If you have an effective customer relationship management system, then you’ll know how your customers are by regular positive engagement and will be able to iron out any irritations as they happen, before bad news travels fast. Knowing how your customers feel about your service is one of the keys to business excellence. That and good financial planning!