The Good-Hearted Business Owner & Customer Service

By Christina Suter on Sep 07, 2019 at 08:00 AM in Business Issues
The Good-Hearted Business Owner & Customer Service

The good-hearted business owner and what that means in different parts of your business is something I speak on often because I know I am not alone. I know plenty of you are like me, you run your business with the intention of helping others and making the world a better place. As good-hearted business owners, we often time get stuck in our belief systems. Sometimes those systems support us and other times they corner us. 

When it comes to customer service, our focus is that our customer comes first, we want to offer a high level of customer service, we don't want our customers to feel like just another number, or have them experience us as being sale-sy. I am guilty of those traits and because of that, I've noticed that sometimes we do customer service to our detriment. My challenge to you is to read the rest of this post and ask yourself if you're one of these people.

1. You give too much of your time to your customers- we want to make every customer feel like an individual, but if you offer a product or service at a low-level price you can't afford to give your customers a lot of your time. My customers pay a premium for me being available, so when I'm on vacation, I may, in fact, have to make or receive a client phone call. What kind of product are you? $25/hr or $250/hr If you're a $25/hr product, your margin might be $12.50 an hour if you give them an hour of your time. 

What customer service do you have in place and are you losing money by the level of service you offer versus what you're being paid?

2. You give extra benefits- Are you sending 5 emails that take 5 hours worth of time a week? If your price includes a sunk cost upfront and an automated service afterward, great. If it's a sunk cost upfront and then a charge every week because someone has to do the work, you may want to reconsider. As an entrepreneur, protect your paycheck, don't exceed your budgeted customer service. Make sure the follow-up customer service benefits are not costing you and your business. 

3. Are you counting your time? Customer service begins when a customer first sees you and carries on after purchase. What time and cost are associated with those stages? Track what the cost of the customer service you make available, including branding and marketing. be responsible for the time and the cost involved in your customer service.

I know people who run their business at a loss because they have a good heart and good intentions but those intentions lead to too much customer service and too many benefits that take away from their bottom line. 

High-Leverage Items

We have a tendency to assume what our client wants. We assume our client is us and we give them the service we would want.

I had a client who was a therapist and recorded every session. She bubble wrapped and mailed every session to her clients on cassette tape. (I know, flashback). We asked her clients if they liked having the cassette tape and if they listened to them. Very few people ever went back and listened to them so instead, to lower her cost and decrease her time spent, we encouraged them to tape their own session. 

Whatever your business is and your price point for your product or service, make sure that the level (time and money) of customer service you put in doesn't hurt your business.