The Importance of Customer Service

by Ivan Mazour

Any purchasing decision, whether for a cheap day-to-day item, or a huge life-changing asset, is always a mental battle between the one side of your brain which says you ‘want’ it, and the other which says you ‘don’t need’ it. As I type this on an ageing first generation Macbook Air, the temptation to go into the Apple store to pick up a new 3rd generation one is rather strong. I’ve gone through the online product selector many times, and yet every time persuaded myself that I don’t need it.

It got me thinking about how it is that companies like Apple get us to buy their products every year, and it all comes down to them being able to tame the rational, and fuel the irrational. In online sales, it is a proven fact that with every extra click between desire and purchase, a significant proportional of original buyers drop out. Apple is able to reduce this, not only on the internet, but also in store. No other retail outlet allows you to walk up to a device you want, have a new boxed one brought to you while you continue trying it out, and have your card charged on that very same device as you stand there, leaving you to walk out, semi-hypnotised, aware only of your shiny new item and not of the dent in your credit card bill.

So what aspects of a business have a direct influence on the want / need decision, and how can we all utlilse them to the best effect? To guarantee a sale, you have to make sure that the decision isn’t in the client’s hands, but in yours. This is where a professional sales team, with a genuine undertsanding of human psychology, can have a great impact. The customer will always want to err on the side of caution, but a solid negotiator will let the ‘want’ side of their brain take over.

That however is only the beginning. To negotiate a one-off sale is hard, but to retain that customer for many years to come, just like Apple manages, now that takes real skill. The customer service of any company will be the reason for its ultimate success or failure. Staff are tasked with constantly, continuously, indefinitely keeping the ‘don’t need’ side of their customers at bay. All it takes is one mistake, by one member of the team, and the client will wake up from the blisfully content state they were in, and realise that there are other firms and other choices.

So if there is one aspect of a business worth perfecting, it is customer service. Be strong, be compulsive and micro-manage every element of service and communication with your customers until you are absolutely certain that each member of your team truly understands the cost of those small mistakes that don’t seem that serious. Only then will your firm’s continuing growth be assured.

Ivan Mazour


Find out more on the about Ivan Mazour page.
And watch Ivan Mazour's TEDx Talk - "Why we shouldn't be scared of sharing our personal data".

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