Customer service can be a make or break factor for small businesses. You can attract customers to your business; make a sale, then what? Until you are providing a satisfying client experience, you can wave your clientele goodbye.
What are small businesses worried about most? Engaging more people in business activity. What should startups be most worried about? In my opinion: retaining customers. The question here arises: should small businesses not be more concerned about making sales to grow their business rather than pleasing their customers and giving them a satisfying customer experience? They should be, but not at the cost of ignoring customer service because that would directly impact and hurt your business in the long run. Customer retention is essential for small companies.
Small businesses are in a constant struggle of planning, and allocating resources. To make things simpler for you, I have decided to do this small piece on how you can drive your customer service up a notch, without affecting your budget.
I have mentioned this before, and I will mention it again; Hire smartly! Carefully pick and choose your staff keeping in mind the type of your business and the kind of working atmosphere you wish to create. Learn to look for the right people.
Would you hire a person who likes helping people and going an extra mile in order to ensure client satisfaction, or someone who is in it only for the sake of working from 9 to 5?
Select people who can handle situations and create better experiences for customers without incurring endless costs on companies.
Use the small size of your business as an advantage and give personalized service to clients. Maintaining a record of all your clients, recording their birthdays, anniversaries, etc. can be relatively easy when you are running a small business.
Make your clients feel valued and cared for. Every client should feel like the center of your business. Your local coffee shop is the perfect example of this tip; See how the cashier remembers every single face, how the guy at the coffee machine remembers what type of coffee Sophia takes, how much sugar John likes, etc. Would Sophia go to any other coffee shop? Never. Why would she feel the need to go to another shop when she is getting an amazing customer experience every morning?
You have a small business and the competition out there is fierce. Think of yourself as a shark fighting for its food. Do you think you will be delivered food to your doorstep? If you do, you are mistaken.
You cannot sit back and expect to survive, yet along grow, in today’s fierce market. Be proactive! Reach out to the customers. Over the years, technology has evolved greatly, thus making it easier for you to do so. For example, deploying a proactive chat service on your website is one way of reaching out to the customers.
What is the key to a sustainable relationship? Communicating! Although it becomes difficult to communicate with all your clients in case you are running a large business, it is easier to stay in touch with the customers when you are a small business owner.
Provide a number of different portals of communication to your clients. Not only will communication allow you to resolve any ongoing issues, it will enable you to gather vital feedback. Listen carefully, speak clearly and act promptly!
Do not let the small size of your business walk you into ignoring a very fundamental aspect of your business i.e. customer service. Focus properly on this fundamental and you shall forever reap its sweet fruit.