Providing outstanding customer service is the goal of every Ag business. What sets the most successful Ag businesses apart from the competition, is their ability to provide proactive customer service.
What does it mean to offer proactive customer service? It means a business makes the decision to solve a customer’s problem – whenever possible – before a customer even knows there is a problem. This involves monitoring any service issues and then determining which of these issues could impact other customers and who those customers are.
Instead of waiting for the inevitable storm that will occur when Ag customers are impacted by late seed shipments, for example, the best small Ag businesses will let customers know what is happening ahead of time. More importantly, they will let customers know how they are going to make things right.
To excel in the area of proactive customer service, small businesses must understand that most customer issues don’t happen in a vacuum. For example, if a few of your Ag customers are complaining about a billing error, chances are more of your customers will likely experience the same issue.
Being proactive also means quickly diverting resources to address any customer service issues. It’s an “all-hands-on-deck” mentality. While smaller issues can be handled by a few capable customer service reps, a full-blown crisis will require significant time and manpower to get it solved as quickly as possible.
The scope of a problem will determine how customers are informed about it. If a small number of farmers are going to be affected, for example, reaching out personally to each of those farmers by phone will show a high level of commitment that farmers will appreciate. If the issue is more widespread, alerting customers through email, social media or other methods is in order.
Providing outstanding customer service is critical to the success of any small business, including those in the Ag industry. Proactive customer service takes things a step further by letting your customers know that if something goes wrong, you will make sure it is taken care of as quickly as possible and that they will always have the answers they need.
As the New Year begins, many Ag businesses are looking for ways to improve their operations in 2020. Providing more proactive customer service is a great way to do just that.