Maham Riaz (December 21, 2015)
Great customer service is more than just greeting customers with a smile and serving them quickly. It involves creating the “wow” impact for your customers. The key to success for a small business is to offer exemplary customer service which keeps bringing customers back to you. Understanding the needs of customers, making them feel valued and offering effective customer support are some of the ways you can make the shopping experience truly gratifying for your customers. Here are a few simple tips for your small business to start off with in order to offer stellar customer service.
The first element of providing great service is to understand the needs and preferences of your customers. Knowing your customers gets you well-acquainted with what they like, hence you can improve your service accordingly and personalize the experience. Customers prefer businesses who understand them and value their inclinations. For instance, if you are running a small ice cream shop and customers come and ask for a particular flavor that you don’t have on your menu or there are customers who are not happy with the ambiance; updating your menu according to the customers’ preferences and changing the decor is likely to get you happy customers who would spread positive word.
Stellar customer service starts with listening attentively to your customers. Train your staff to make proper eye contact with customers when they are talking or explaining something. Ask them to address their questions and concerns in detail until they are satisfied. Many business don’t pay attention to what customers say and imply, consequently they end up creating negative brand image. If you want your small business to thrive, make it mandatory for your representatives to be active and patient listeners. Listening to what your customers are saying will enable you to offer satisfactory service.
For small businesses, building strong customer relationships is vital for repeat business. A simple and smart way to go about this is to make every customer feel valued. Customers should be treated well by starting off with a proper warm greeting, ask them what they would like and instantly offer options according to their needs. Talk to the customer in a friendly manner, even if he/she does not purchase from you, offer that customer a loyalty card. Appreciate every customer for visiting and create an impression that you would like to see him/her again.
In order to make your service exemplary, admit your mistakes and rectify bad customer experiences smartly. If for instance, a customer receives an order late, apologize for the inconvenience and give a special discount to make up for it. Showing an angry or complaining customer that you can relate to the situation and fixing things in minimal time can turn a bad customer service experience into a positive one. Take a bad customer experience as an opportunity to prove that you can go an extra mile for setting things right for your customers.
Exceeding your customers’ expectations can make them value your business and recommend it to friends and acquaintances. If you want your small business to have loyal customers, put in extra effort to offer them more than their expectations. Doing something thoughtful for your customers and giving them pleasant surprises is likely to earn you brand advocates. For instance, if a customer orders a cake from your shop for his/her spouse’s birthday, you can send a greeting card and flowers with it. Gestures likes these will make them feel special and ensure that your customers keep coming back to you.
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