Bettering your business
is good for customers
©AMANDA HORO WITZ MEDIA, LLC
David Horowitz is a leading consumer advocate. David’s daughter Amanda Horowitz is the CEO of Fight Back! and co-founder of FightBack.com. Email David and Amanda at info@ fightback.com.
BEYOND CUSTOMER SERVICE is customer
experience, which reflects a business’s entire relationship with consumers. If you are a business owner,
listen up! Your business is dependent on the quality
of your relationships with customers. Here are some
general tips from Fight Back! Consulting that could
help you improve your customers’ experiences.
Show that service starts at the top. As
a business owner, you set the precedent for your
business. Everything that happens in the course of
business reflects your temperament and decisions.
If you want to run a consumer-oriented business,
you need to walk the talk. Provide easy-to-find contact information on your website and accessibility
for in-person communications about your products
and services. Hire service-oriented individuals and
train your workforce adequately. Utilize technology
to make your business more accessible across social
Have integrity. Don’t mislead customers with
false advertising claims. Don’t use sales tactics or
sales pressure. If you exceed customers’ expectations,
if you are honest and just and provide high-quality
offerings, you will not need to convince or sell anyone on your business. The most effective marketing
campaign is to be an example of excellence in your
industry and to maintain a high level of integrity.
Take inventory. A company that doesn’t take
a regular merchandise inventory will likely fold. The
same rule of taking inventory applies to your con-sumer-related business practices: You need to consistently evaluate and reevaluate them. In addition
to surveying customers for feedback about how
your business is doing, you should also conduct
Tablet or smartphone?
Scan or click here to watch a classic
Fight Back! clip. (See page 5 for
regular meetings with staff and employees to evaluate both challenges and opportunities from their
perspective. Stay on top of your practices as they
change and evolve, and stay focused on accountability and performance.
Treat customers well. There’s nothing
worse than doing business with a company that isn’t
generous and appreciative. It’s important that you
do something to thank customers for supporting
your business. After all, their hard-earned money is
being spent on your products and services.
Discounts and rewards are two ways you can treat
them well. Letting customers know they are valued
Encourage autonomy. Train your employees to make customer service decisions independently. This will help resolve issues in a more
time-efficient manner, and customers will be less
likely to feel frustrated.
Follow the rule of threes. If you hear
something about your business three times, whether
it’s positive or negative feedback, whether it’s from a
customer or an employee, pay attention. It is likely
true and will give you valuable information.
Create a strong community. The ideal
business environment is a culture of community.
Treat everyone who works with you like family and
make their benefits and compensation a top priority. Otherwise, customer satisfaction will suffer. If
you are trying to save money by cutting back your
workforce, your customer service issues will only
increase. You will end up losing money and customers because you are understaffed.
A healthy community has established guidelines for conduct that promote accountability in the
workplace. An employee should never be afraid to
tell you the truth, give you feedback or make suggestions for improvement.
Customer service standards can be subjective.
Make sure your team is clear about your standards
and follows them consistently. Give your employees
generous discounts that allow them to afford and
enjoy your products and services. After all, they are
your team and your representatives and should be
able to speak about your products from personal
experience, not from a script. C
Please note that we at Fight Back! are not licensed
professionals in any ;eld. If you are seeking advice,
you should consult with your own licensed professional.
We do not assume any liability or responsibility for
the interpretation, application or accuracy of any
Tip from Fight
And speaking of
customer service …
CYBERCRIMINALS OFTEN use
the names of well-known
companies to scam you. They
create fake URLs similar to
those of real companies to
direct you to websites that
seem like the real thing. If a
requests a large sum of money
to correct a simple customer
service issue or asks for your
credit card number to verify
you’re a customer, beware! Ari
DeKofsky, spokesperson at the
FBI’s Los Angeles ;eld of;ce,
says, “Avoiding Internet scams
takes vigilance. It is important
to check that
you visit are
you have been
the victim of
please report the incident to
the Internet Crime Complaint
you have been
#Fight Back gets social
WHAT DO YOU do to be a
proactive consumer and effect
positive change in the world?
What do you believe in? What
do you Fight Back for?
Send us your photos,
videos and comments on
Facebook, Instagram and
Twitter, marked #IFightBack
and we’ll retweet them to and
share them with the entire
© 2013 AMANDA HORO WITZ MEDIA, LLC ALL RIGH TS RESERVED
Have a question for Fight Back?
Just log on to
www.fightback.com or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions and
answers of the greatest interest to Costco members will be used in this column
(with the permission of the contributor) and will be posted on
More in archives
On Costco.com, enter “Connection”;
at Online Edition, search