Customer care; how to keep clients coming back

Vivian Agaba

What you need to know:

Anyone running a business whether small or big ought to know that business longevity relies on satisfied customers...

Businesses ought to stay at the top of their game, and find innovative ways to attract more customers by providing excellent customer care services.

Speaking of innovative ways, I recently visited a dental clinic on Kanjokya Street, seeking treatment for a tooth that was bothering me.   The receptionist with urgency welcomed me with a smile, asked how I was doing, and how she could help me. I got the services I needed and left.

The next day, I received a call from the same clinic, and the person on the call said she had called to find out how I was feeling following my visit to the clinic. The call was brief, but left a lasting good impression. And guess what, if I ever need their services, I will definitely go back, and I can obviously recommend others. I know it is not possible for every service provider to call their clients back due to a number of reasons, one of them being the large number of clients a company has.

However, what is very possible, and not too much to ask for; is for every service provider to treat every customer well and answer any queries from them in a timely manner. How you treat a client on that first engagement will determine whether he or she comes back next time.

Anyone running a business whether small or big ought to know that business longevity relies on satisfied customers, and good customer care boosts employee retention, reinforces company values and brand among other benefits. A study done by Ameritas Life Insurance Corp, a mutual insurance company based in Nebraska, U.S.A with other over 100 years of experience found that about 97% of customers will tell others about very good or excellent customer service experiences, nearly 70% of people would spend more money with a company that has excellent customer service. Approximately 24% of satisfied customers will return to a business two or more years after a good customer service experience. The research also shows that 59% of people would try a new company to receive better customer service.

Meanwhile, as I was writing this, I was listening to a local radio station, and one of the topics of discussion was which gender; females or males make better receptionists. While one of the programme hosts said the job is best suitable for women because they smile more, are more welcoming, and look good because of the make-up, the co-host said it is not about women and the make-up, but who does the job better whether male or female. The latter added that what matters is ensuring that clients are given good customer care.

I agree with the second, both women and men can work as receptionists. Yes, the good looks may be a bonus, but the job goes beyond beauty. It is about someone who knows their job, and is willing to do it well. 

Otherwise, what is the purpose of a beautiful face when one doesn’t care about customers, and they leave disgruntled and grumpy.

Because let’s face it, some female receptionists can be real mean. As you approach them, they are wearing a gloomy face, you greet them, they either respond like they don’t want to, or ignore you all together.

Then there are those you find scrolling through their phones, you talk to them, but they keep up with their phones. This leaves a customer wondering whether this person is listening to them, or do they actually care? Such habits are unattractive!

In most cases, what customers are looking for are quality services, and excellent customer care, and will always remember how they were treated, as compared to the physical appearance of the person that dealt with them. So in addition to providing quality products and services, every organization, or company must endeavor to train their staff including receptionists to treat every customer with politeness, and you will continue attracting more customers. 

Vivian Agaba is a journalist, and consultant writer/editor