Business Overview

Customer service can make or break a business. When a customer calls in with a question, problem, or concern, the way they're treated often determined whether they will remain a customer or buy from a competitor. Service also determines how well a customer's problem is addressed and, ultimately, whether the business does a good job solving it.

This is why a customer service consulting business is so valuable. It helps businesses and firms improve their customer service by doing customer surveys, offering customer service training lessons, examining the workflow of customer service processes, or trying to develop an improved culture of service.

They primarily serve industries and business that are very service-oriented, like restaurants, coffee shops, and beauty salons. Consulting for these types of business is different from product-driven companies, which typically try to improve customer service to better handle complaints.

A consulting business must understand the nature of customer service and service-oriented businesses and their need for quality service. They must study the target consumer for the company and product and how best to service their needs.

Who is this business right for?

This business is perfect for individuals with good people skills and a drive to facilitate good communication between two or more people.

What happens during a typical day at a customer service consulting business?

A day in the life of a consulting company consists of meeting with clients, following up with prospects and managing client attitude and behaviors.

Most consulting firms spend a lot of time researching their clients' customers and target market. This takes up the bulk of the time spend on a client's project. For example, a consulting company working with a coffee shop might spend a significant amount of time researching the local demographic, comparing it to how much the coffee shop charges for its coffee and teas, what type of clientele it is trying to serve, the coffee shop's location, and so on.

If a coffee shop owner is serving a high-end client, who demands microlots and custom brews, including hand poured coffee, then service should be focused on providing a unique experience for each customer. This is not the type of coffee shop that sells coffee as a commodity.

A consultant might stress the need for knowledgeable baristas with years of experience, education, and training.

If, on the other hand, a coffee shop is mass marketing its coffee to a middle or low-income market, then the customer service strategy might be more focused on providing fast and polite service.

Consulting companies must also document all recommendations to their clients, maintain excellent records and, of course, provide excellent service to its own clients. Consulting companies also typically provide monthly or quarterly reports to clients.

What is the target market?

Target market are successful businesses that have hit a sticking point in revenues and profit and need help improving customer relationships so they can break through to the next level.

How does a customer service consulting business make money?

Customer service consulting companies make money by charging clients fees for consultation services.

What is the growth potential for a customer service consulting business?

Companies are typically run as small agencies. However, larger companies do exist. Some of them cross over from customer service to providing a blend of customer service and management consulting, like McKinsey & Co., Accenture and Marsh & McLennan.