When it comes to running a small business, customer service is key. Even if your business has an amazing product or service, without the proper customer support, you probably won’t be able to achieve long-term success.
Although it might seem like common sense, it can be challenging to implement best practices in this area. Luckily, there are many small but effective ways that your business can tackle customer service challenges. From responding to negative reviews to better optimizing your business’s website, the little changes can add up. In fact, seven out of 10 U.S. consumers will spend more money with a company that has great customer service—so it can even boost your sales!
Keep reading to find out how your business can deliver excellent customer service by making the right changes to your processes.
Does your business utilize online channels to provide customer support? If not, it’s crucial that you start using them.
When customers have a question or issue, they don’t want to spend time trying to call your company or visiting your location. Their time is valuable, and they want a solution as quickly as possible. That’s why you should create an online strategy.
A few of our suggestions are:
One of the most crucial aspects of a business’s customer service is your team. Any individual who interacts with customers should be well-trained on your company’s values, be knowledgeable about your products or services, and consistently learn new customer service skills.
Consider investing in training courses for your employees, or host monthly sessions where you review challenges that your customer service team faces. These courses don’t have to break the bank; in fact, you can enroll in free customer services courses from educational sites like Alison.
By investing your support team’s growth, you can see considerable improvements to your company’s customer retention.
It can be easy to focus on your day-to-day responsibilities, but you should make it a priority to interact with your customers. Ask them about how you can improve their experience, find out what their interests or challenges are, and try to get to know them. You can do this by getting to know in-store shoppers, sending surveys via email, or starting conversations with users who tag your products on social media. Get creative when finding ways to interact with your customers—anywhere they are, you should be, too!
Not only will this improve customer satisfaction, but this will also enable you to take their feedback and insights, and enhance other areas of your business.
It can be difficult to interact with unhappy customers. But as a small business owner, it’s crucial that you apologize and find solutions to customer issues. That’s why we suggest responding to negative reviews or comments—even if you don’t feel the criticisms are warranted.
When responding, ensure the customer that you’re apologetic, and then see how you can solve their problems. By making it clear that your company strives to provide good customer service, even the unhappiest patrons may be willing to give you a second chance.
One of the best ways to connect with your customers is to say “thank you”—it’s that simple! You can thank in-store patrons for visiting or send “thank you” emails to customers after they make an online purchase. When customers feel valued, they’ll be more likely to visit your business again in the future.
Even better, they might tell their friends to check out your business, too! After having a positive experience, 77% of patrons will recommend a business to their friends.
You should strive to make it easy for your clientele to find answers to their questions. That’s why adding a FAQ page to your website is a must. This page should cover topics such as your prices, how to contact different departments at your company, how to find their account balance (if applicable), and anything else that’s relevant to your business.
To make sure that you’re covering all the frequently asked questions that you receive, ask your support team to keep track of common inquiries. That way, when you go to create the content for your FAQ page, you’ll be completely prepared.
Understandably, handling customer service issues can take time. You might need to contact members of your team, conduct research, or conduct other tasks that will allow you to provide patrons with correct answers or a clear solution. Still, customers expect fast results, with 82% expecting immediate responses to their questions. If they don’t get them, they may take their business elsewhere.
Going forward, aim to respond to customers as soon as possible. Even if you can’t provide them with an answer just yet, by responding and letting them know that you’re looking into their issue, they’ll know that your team cares and is on top of it.
Successful customer service involves various components. From being prompt to training your team, there are small changes that you can make to ensure customer satisfaction. By making this a priority, you’ll be surprised at how focusing on customer service can benefit every area of your small business.
Katie Alteri is the content marketing coordinator at Fora Financial, a company that provides small business loans to businesses across the US.