One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising. – Jim Rohn
If you run a small business, you will know how important it is to make your customers happy in order to keep them coming back and to build a positive reputation within your industry.
To help you to achieve this, we have put together some top customer service tips for small businesses which we hope you will be able to implement.
1. Respond to every customer
No matter what a customer has contacted you about, whether it is a simple comment or a lengthy complaint, it is important to respond to them so that they know that they are valued.
There are likely to be a number of ways in which a customer could contact you, including via phone, email, letter or social media, so ensuring that each of these methods of communication has people looking after it is vital in making sure that no customer contact is missed.
Even if you don’t have your own social media channels set up, it is good practice to check whether your company is being talked about as conversations could be happening that you are unaware of but which you may need to address.
2. Take feedback on board
There is nothing more helpful than customer feedback when you are trying to improve your business and make it better for your clients.
It may be that you receive feedback naturally in person from your customers, or via phone or email once you have provided the product or service that you are offering.
If this is the case it should be logged and any actions associated with the feedback should be taken, especially if it came in the form of a complaint.
You could also seek to gain feedback by sending out surveys to your customers by email.
This means that you can ask the questions that you would like the answers to, but also give the customer the chance to share their own thoughts too.
Offering an incentive for completing the survey can mean that you collect more data, which means more quality feedback to assist you.
3. Encourage great communication and teamwork
Your employees are advocates for your business and will be on the front line when a customer needs advice or information, so ensuring that they all communicate well with each other and work as a team is integral to providing excellent customer service.
By training your staff to a great level, and providing extra training for any new services or products that you decide to offer, you can be confident that customers will receive the same helpful information no matter which one of your team they end up speaking to.
It is also advised that a record is kept of any customer communication so that if the person they originally spoke to isn’t available should they contact you again, someone else will be able to pick up the conversation without an issue.
This provides a seamless customer service journey.
4. Be trustworthy
Trust is one of the things that keep customers coming back, so it is very important that you are completely honest about what you are providing to avoid any confusion or coming across as being dishonest.
One of the easiest ways to build a trustworthy brand is to make sure that you don’t offer anything that you can’t deliver.
Whether this is deadlines, quantity of products, hours of service, or availability to attend meetings, you must only commit to things that you know you can achieve, and if there is any doubt you should let your customers know.
If at any point in the customer journey you feel that you won’t be able to deliver what you originally thought that you could, let them know as soon as possible rather than leave it to the last minute hoping that you’ll be able to work out a last-minute solution.
5. Reward loyal customers
If you want news of how fantastic your small business is to spread, it is helpful if you can rely on your customers to do this for you through word of mouth.
One way to stay in your customers’ minds is to reward them with offers or a loyalty scheme. Not only is this great customer service, but it will also help to keep your customers from going to competitors the next time they require the product or service that you provide.
By following these customer service tips in your small business, you can be sure to keep your customers happy, and build your brand in a positive way.