The customer is always right, as the saying goes. And it’s true: customer service is likely to be at the core of your business, whether you’re selling SEO services or childcare. What’s more, offering superior customer service is a great way to separate yourself from the competition. As a small business, it’s unlikely you’ll have a huge customer service center, but don't worry! With these 5 simple tips, businesses of any size can deliver great customer service.
1. Learn to admit mistakes
It’s quite normal for new or small businesses to make mistakes. While a mistake here or there won’t destroy your company, it’s important that you don’t let mistakes cause more damage than they need to. The best way to avoid damage is by handling any mistakes made in the proper way. Once a mistake happens, take responsibility and overcompensate in your response.
Your goal here is to turn a disappointed customer into someone who buys again. Disappointment is only temporary, and if you can impress your customers with your response to their problem, they’re likely to spread the word.
2. Spread a customer service culture
It’s no use saying your business values customer service if your staff doesn’t follow through. Attempt to spread your enthusiasm throughout the organization. Often, setting up customer service-related goals is the most effective way to do this. Don’t forget to create incentives to encourage your staff to put as much effort as possible into customer service.
Think about training your staff. Use specific scenarios to see how individuals would choose to deal with them. Ask for specific targets to aim for… No customer complaints in 30 days? Personalized responses to all complaints? Compensation for all returned goods? These are all great goals to shoot for that will make your company seem more professional.
3. Get personal
Being a small business might mean you don’t have access to endless resources or customer databases. However, it does give you the unique opportunity to offer truly personalized responses to your customers. This doesn’t just mean switching out one customer’s name for another in a template; anything you can say or do to make your customers feel valued counts. Go the extra mile, and your customer will build a loyalty to your company that can be extremely valuable.
4. Be flexible in your response
Another advantage of being a small business in these circumstances is that you can be less rigid. Big businesses have strict, clearly established rules and protocol to follow. Small businesses can differentiate, and even excel, by being more flexible. Of course, this won’t always be possible, and it’s important to maintain a basic structure to keep your company organized. However, by deviating from the script once in a while, you can build a connection with your customers that other companies can’t.
5. Get input from your customers
As a small business, it can be hard to perfect your product. Why not use your customer to help you improve your offering? After all, they know better than anyone where there is room for improvement. It’s a win-win situation: you’ll make your offer better for your existing customers, potentially help attract more customers, and your customer can give valuable input and feel appreciated.