Something that’s equally as important as pricing and the quality of the products is customer service. When you go to a restaurant, you tip the waiters or waitresses based on the quality of their customer service. Even if the food is the best you’ve ever had or the price is just right, this doesn’t warrant an extra tip.
Customer service goes a long way for the customer, and as a small business owner, it’s your job to uphold the standards of quality customer service. It could mean the difference between surviving and failing.
Luckily for you, we can help guide you through the process of practicing good customer service skills right here in this article. By reading this article, you’ll gain the tools to assess and improve your own customer service methods for your small business.
Quality customer service is all about being fully present in all aspects. It should never take you hours or days to respond to an email, phone call, or social media comment. If you take too long to respond to your customers, then they will feel neglected and will ultimately neglect you right back.
Make sure that you have an action plan in place for every communicative effort. Also, make sure that your employees are on the same page so that they cater to customer inquiries quickly and with enthusiasm. When your customers are happy, then everyone is happy.
As a small business owner, you have an exceptional opportunity to build rapport with your customers. The business-customer relationship isn’t all about money transactions; it’s about an actual person-to-person relationship where you can build trust and friendship.
Building rapport involves regularly reaching out to your customers, remembering their faces, and knowing them by their name. When a business owner remembers your name, it suggests that they value you as a customer, making them more likely to come back and make purchases in the future.
Treat Every Customer the Same
Make sure that you treat every customer with the same level of quality customer service. From the once-a-year customers to the everyday-at-noon customers, they should all be treated the same, no matter what.
Repeat customers, former customers, and referrals can be an enormous asset for your business, so it’s crucial that you don’t give off inconsistent customer service experiences.
Make sure that you have a solid customer service standard or checklist in place for you and your employees to follow so that you’re always providing consistently perfect customer service.
Be a Problem Solver
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong, especially in the business world. It’s important that at the end of the day, you reach a solution that can resolve the problem quickly, painlessly, and efficiently so that everyone can leave happy.
For instance, if something goes wrong and your customer is unhappy with the service, then you could consider giving them an incentive to remain a loyal customer. You could give away something for free, or give them a small discount on their next purchase.
However you decide to solve the problem, just make sure that the problem is in fact solved. That way, the customer will be less likely to say negative comments about your customer service or overall brand.
Offer Customer Service Training
It’s crucial that you train your employees to provide the same level of excellent customer service amongst them. They should be thoroughly trained in all aspects of quality customer service practices and principles. They should also learn how to solve problems to settle disputes, complaints, or other customer issues that could potentially hard the reputation of the business.
Customers expect the highest quality of service and support, so it’s important that all of your employees provide such standards in everything that they do. If you have one employee that isn’t giving off the same vibes, then you have two options – teach him and let him off with a stern warning to shape up, or let him go and replace him with someone who will get the job done correctly.
The Bottom Line
If you don’t have a customer service team or customer service representatives, then it’s your job to pick up the slack. Whether it’s by answering the phones, solving customer disputes, or providing long term customer support, you must attend to the needs of your customers to uphold a stellar reputation.
So, follow the suggestions mentioned above and we guarantee that your customers will be happy with your service. As long as you remain consistently excellent in your customer service efforts, then your customers will always have a satisfactory experience.