Good Customer Service Crucial For Survival

Posted on  04/11/2011  |  Media Centre

FRIDAY, 04 NOVEMBER 2011 07:08

Bandar Seri Begawan – It is often said that good customer service is the lifeblood of any business.

Obviously, without customers you really don’t have a business. So why is it that the importance of having good customer service is still being neglected, when it is the foundation of your wealth?

These were some of the agendas discussed during the 2011 Local Business Development Forum at the Radisson Hotel yesterday, particularly in a panel session dubbed ‘Customer Service: Delivering that Unforgettable Experience’ which focussed a dialogue on the application of International Best Practise to Bruneian consumers.

Moderated by Stuart Kemp, Executive Director of Asia Inc Forum, the panel session featured Mark Grieves, Principal of Bersama Jaya Education and Management, and Shaun Hoon, Growth Engineer, Catalyst.

“In today’s world, business competition is tough. If you can’t provide products or good services when somebody wants or needs them, there will be a lot more companies immediately ready to fill the void,” it was learnt.

“Customer service has nothing to do with how good your English is, or any language for that matter. If you are not professional, that’s fine. You just have to have the heart, passion and action to deliver it,” Shaun said.

Customer service is designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction, should the product or service provided not meet expectations, and an excellent customer service experience may just change the entire perception of an organisation.

“There was not always the word of ‘sales,’ because we’re not selling,” Mark added.

“It always is and has been about the service – initiating service, sustaining it and subsequently improving it.”

The speakers told forum participants not to worry about how big their companies are, but instead to focus on how good they can be. The essence of providing good customer service is similar to forming a long-term relationship with customers, whereas they will determine what makes them behave loyally and what would eventually make them leave the relationship.

“And unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won’t be profitable for long.”

Dato Paduka Timothy Ong, the Founder and Chairman of Asia Inc Forum as a participant of the forum, also had the ‘opportunity to share his views on the differences between a good and a great customer service, as he asked, “What makes excellent customer service?”

“There’s a definition between good and great customer service and it is not defined during good times, but when there is a crisis – that is the true test.”

Hazizah Osman, Deputy General Manager of Brunei Press Sdn Bhd, also said that most companies in Brunei share similar reasons as to why customer services sometimes can be awful, and it is attributed to three things; lack of staff training, lack of supervision from superiors, and lack of feedback.

“Products are tangible things. Those that aren’t – such as a hair-cut, an advice, insurance – are the ones you can’t provide easily, because these involve emotions. Lower prices are not service, they’re just lower prices. Prices may vary from one brand to another, but what makes people buy your products is driven by the trust you’ve given them,” it was told.

For any successful business or organisation, the commitment to customer service always begins at the top. The company’s leaders must take in efforts to meet customer’s expectations, and more often than not, strive to exceed them.

The organisational culture has to be built from ground up, and businesses in Brunei have yet to consider important aspects in customer service, which are, namely, discipline, guidelines and supervisions.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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