Every business from major corporations to mom-and-pop shops should look at Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as something they want to do to improve their own business. I believe that it is important to consider CSR as a part of providing good all-around customer service.
James Epstein-Reeves is a blogger for Forbes.com and a Chicago-based expert on corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, and cause-marketing. In 2012, Reeves listed the Six Reasons Companies Should Embrace CSR – innovation, cost savings, brand differentiation, long-term thinking, customer engagement, and employee engagement.
The reason listed by Reeves all lead to one common theme…customer service. Providing good customer service develops a loyal relationship with the customer. Successful CSR programs also strive to earn the trust and support of customers. The difference is that CSR is in response to social or environmental issues.
One of the most important aspects of running a business is to provide exceptional customer service. Corporate Social Responsibility is just an extension of customer service. If you listen to your customers, give them the best possible product and service, and put forth an effort to protect them from social and environmental issues then you are on the right path to develop a loyal and supportive group of customers. A business can use CSR program to win the support of customers by extending their impact beyond providing the usual products or services. By developing a CSR program a business is setting itself up to retain customers’ loyalty because they are benefiting by not only using the product or service. Customers will engage with businesses that work to alleviate social and environmental issues.
Last week I wrote about the Los Angeles Dodgers Dreamfields program that works to build baseball and softball fields in the Los Angeles area. They are using this CSR program to engage with the community and their fans or customers. By providing these fields, they are helping to solve social issues while maintaining loyal fans and developing new relationships with potential new customers. This will lead people to engage more with the Dodgers, giving the organization the opportunity to continue delivering good customer service.