5 Ways To Improve Your Small Business Customer Service

Having great customer service is one of the best ways to help your business grow. A bad customer service experience is enough to prevent a client from using your services ever again, while a great experience can create a client who is loyal for life. No matter how well you think you’re doing in the customer service department, there are always ways to improve. Here are five of the easiest ways to improve your small business’ customer service. 

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Encourage dialogue

To offer excellent customer service, you should provide customers with the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with you. Whether it’s through email, over the phone, or on social media, encourage customers to get in contact and actively respond to them when they do. 

For 24/7 customer support, consider hiring a virtual receptionist. A virtual receptionist will answer your phone on behalf of your company when you or your reception team aren’t able to. Depending on your needs, they can direct clients to the appropriate resource or contact. Take a look at answering service prices to see if this is an affordable option for your company. 

Reward customer loyalty

By giving back to customers who purchase your products and services, you demonstrate your appreciation for them and incentivize them to keep coming back. While loyalty cards and rewards programs are an effective strategy, rewards don’t have to be done on such a grand scale. If you don’t have the infrastructure to implement a rewards program yet, simply offer coupons and discounts to customers. 

To convert future customers, offer free gifts or discounts for referrals. You can also give loyal customers early-access to new products and services. 

Emphasize customer service behind closed doors

It’s not enough to say you value customer service on paper – this value also needs to be instilled in the entire team. Make sure your employees have the skills needed to deliver customer support. They should have excellent communication skills, be able to receive criticism without taking it personally, and have a strong knowledge of the company’s products and services to come up with a solution that’s right for the customer. 

Train your customer service team and front facing employees in the skill of active listening, which involves repeating back what the customer has said and making empathetic statements to ensure the customer feels heard. If you’re not skilled in this area yourself, hire an expert to come in and conduct a training session. 

Use customer analytics

Customer analytics involves using customer data to gain insight on customer behavior and communication. With so much available data, you need to sort through and choose the data that will help you answer the questions you have. You might be wondering if customers are using a service more than once, or if one product is selling better or worse than another. By discovering what is and isn’t working for your customers, you can better tailor your marketing and sales to your target audience. 

Improving these aspects of the business subsequently improves the customer experience, leading to higher customer satisfaction. However, before you start collecting data, make sure you have a secure system in place to protect your customers’ data. A data breach could result in a loss of customer trust. 

Facilitate avenues for self-service 

While it’s great that your highly trained, professional, and friendly customer service team are ready and waiting by the phone, many customers don’t want to have to make a call to solve a problem they’re having. 

The internet has made it easier than ever before to help customers help themselves. By posting instructional videos and FAQ pages to your website, many customers will be able to solve their problem quickly and efficiently on their own. This saves them from waiting on hold and allows your customer service team to spend more on other high-priority tasks. Self-service content also improves customer engagement. Once they’re on your website, they may notice a promotion you have going on and make a purchase.

Ask for feedback

Although analytics are important, asking customers directly to give their feedback supplies qualitative insight that you may not have been able to obtain through analytics alone. It also makes your customers feel like their voice matters, which increases their trust in and opinion of your company. 

There are many ways to obtain customer feedback. The easiest strategy is to send out an automated follow-up email after the customer has received a product or service. Interacting with customers over social media and asking for feedback on these platforms is another simple way to find out about the customer experience. Look for patterns in this feedback and make improvements where needed.

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