3 Ways to Achieve Great Customer Service in Small Business
In order to build valuable customer relationships, small businesses must have great customer service. For many consumers, this is the primary factor in why they choose to buy a product or service from a small business instead of a large company. Clients want more than good customer service. They want relationship. Whereas large companies resemble a well-oiled machine chugging along from point A to point B, small businesses represent the side of business with a smile; with heart.
It’s not often that having a small business is seen as an advantage in the business arena, but in terms of customer service, being a small business is a big deal. Continue reading to discover three ways you can make customer service in your small business even better.
Listen closely to the needs of your customer
Before we get into the way employees should behave and engage with customers, there is a critical step that should serve as the foundation to every subsequent interaction: listening. One of the worst things customer service representatives can do to damage customer relationships is to assume that they know what the customer needs without really listening to the customer first. As ideal as it may be to be able to anticipate your customer’s needs, that can only come after you have established a relationship with the customer. In the beginning, the only job of the employee is to listen.
In the same way that students in school are taught to take notes during lectures in order to keep track of the main points, customer service representatives should actively take notes as the customer is explaining what they need. Not only does this help the employee suggest an appropriate solution, but it offers helpful talking points later in the discussion about how your small business can help the customer. In the end, what your customer is looking for is someone to help them who cares about their needs. Once you can establish that aspect of relationship with your clients, they will be open to whatever solutions you may suggest.
Show how your business can solve your customer’s problems
At the heart of customer service is the act of serving the customer. As a small business, your ultimate goal is to give your customers whatever they need. Therefore, the goal of your employees should be to discern the ways in which your business can be the answer to the questions your customers may have. When it comes to the actual products or services your small business offers, your employees that deal directly with customers should know every single detail about what you’re selling. Whenever they engage with the customers, they should be able to suggest solutions from your catalog that perfectly fit the desires of the customer (whether the customer knows exactly what they need or not).
When you visit many websites, you often find a page labeled Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). These pages exist as a means to save customer service staff from answering the same question over and over again. Although this can be very beneficial for a website, it can actually be quite beneficial for your customer service representatives to have on hand in the office as well. Not only should they know which questions customers frequently ask, but they should be able to craft responses to those questions that leave the customers completely satisfied. This is a good standard to have in regards to each product or service you offer. Anticipate the questions that might arise for each item and generate a solid response beforehand. This will boost clients’ trust in your team and your small business as a whole.
Utilize your status as a small business to get more personal with your clients
Being a small business has many advantages, one being that you are likely to remember and more able to develop personal relationships with the customers that frequent your storefront or office. This can come in handy when it comes to helping customers know that you care about them and not just their money. Make a point to learn your customers’ names and ask them about their lives. Take note of special events coming up in their lives such as birthdays or anniversaries (even anniversaries of milestones in their relationship with your business), and send them postcards or emails. You may even consider offering special discounts.
Establishing this level of relationship with you customers can also help them feel comfortable with letting you know what they really think about your business. Although businesses can use customer surveys and questionnaires to solicit feedback from clients, clients don’t often volunteer as much additional information about their experience with a business on a form. On the other hand, a small business with good relationships with its customers can elicit more helpful information and suggestions. Check in with your customers on a regular basis to make sure they are both happy with your product as well as your interaction with them.
There are many advantages to having a small business, customer service being one of them. We hope that the steps outlined in this article help your small business get an even greater edge in the business arena. For information on how to strengthen customer service even more in your business, contact us at Tuxedo Impressions LLC™ today!
~ S. Wasike, Team Tuxedo Impressions LLC™