In the cut-throat world of small businesses and start-ups, it’s often customer service that will differentiate you from your competitors. It’s rare that you’ll have a product offering completely unlike other businesses in your space, so those relationships that you make really have to count if you’re to retain and win business.
The following are some practical tips that you can follow to improve your small business’ customer service.
If you’re lucky enough to come face to face with your customers on a daily basis (or your employees do) then you’ll find this challenge much easier than everyone else, for the simple fact that you’ve got an extra opportunity to impress.
The best weapon you’ve got in your arsenal is simply the smile (and you can read more about that here). Happier employees make customers happier too – it’s really as simple as that. People tend to get put off by places where they can tell the employees don’t feel valued.
Make sure your customer leave satisfied
Other than smile, it’s all about giving a customer everything they need to happily be a customer. Go the extra mile to make sure they leave satisfied, as reviews they might leave online can make or break your business. Send your regards to someone that you and your customer mutually know; offer a small gift – candies still work fine – for your customers’ children; or, it can be as simple as “have a great day” can make a significant difference.
Don’t go overboard
One good thing to keep in mind though is not to go overboard – if you’re running a shop, customers generally don’t like being hassled as they browse. One quick check to see if they need help is all it takes – beyond that simply ensure someone is on hand, not pestering.
If however you’re an online business, then it can be trickier to show that you give really good customer service. Unfortunately, this is most commonly going to happen when things go wrong. Don’t be disheartened though – problems are quite simply opportunities for you and your employees to show what great service you can give.
Work with a reliable courier
You should always go the extra mile to make things right, and you’ll receive great feedback because of it. As an example, if a delivery hasn’t arrived and a customer really needs their item, send one out with a really fast courier (Parcel2Go compares the best if you’re not sure where to look) rather than only giving a refund. By just giving them back their money, you’re not actually solving their problem.
Have an online customer support team ready
Having people on hand to answer questions when shopping online is a really good way of boosting customer satisfaction too. It also drives sales. You can choose either having a customer support in-house team or outsource it; either, you should hire those with excellent communication skills.
The takeaway then is never to allow your customer to leave feeling like you’ve not had their best interests at heart, whether everything went right, or something went wrong.