Customer service is a very important necessity for every business. Here are a few ways you can improve your businesses customer service.
Customer service is at the heart of every small business. Small business owners understand the direct correlation between happy customers and continued service to make a living and build good customer relations. The fact is that while the adage, “the customer is always right,” isn’t actually true, it is still a standard to live.
While that doesn’t mean you should bow down and give in to customers every whim and demand, you should ensure your business is customer orientated and designed to improve the customer experience from the first point of contact with your company.
With a shift towards a more virtual lifestyle as head through 2021, what does this change mean for small businesses?
Put Yourself In The Customer’s Shoes
It is always worth approaching your small business as a customer would. Step away from looking at it as a business owner and get it from a customer’s perspective. Say you went to a restaurant. You were seated swiftly, given a menu, and your drinks order was taken. But then you waited 30 mins to get your drinks. Plus, it’s been nearly an hour, and no one has taken your order. Even if the food was amazing and the staff apologetic, the fact that service was initially poor will stick with you no matter how good the food was right!
So with this in mind, you can begin to look at how your customer service is impacting your customers at all stages of interaction with your company.
With more and more people moving to do business and take care of day-to-day business online, there is a need to ensure your small business can respond to queries when the customers ask anytime day and night.
On this front, to meet the demand for instant engagements, more and more companies are using chatbots online to help customers get the answers they need. Because if you are catering to this desire to not wait for what they want, you can bet your competitors are.
Automated processes such as chatbots can be easily programmed with replies to the most popular queries. If they are asked something outside of their knowledge base, they could then be directed to an actual person via a live chat function on your website or via the phone. If you can’t be available all the time to answer these calls or you don’t have the employees for this type of availability, then you can find a small business answering service that can handle your calls for you in a timely and professional manner.
Ask for Feedback
If your customers aren’t giving you feedback, they will be sharing their views with other people, especially the negative ones. Ask ourselves, how often do you see bad reviews online? If a person is pushed to leave a review, what are the chances it isn’t a good one? There are many outlets for customers to voice their opinion in this day and age, and you need to make sure that you are one of those such outlets.
Getting in front of any potential issues gives you the chance to rectify the issue or work with the customer to provide a satisfactory outcome for everyone involved. Plus, asking for feedback allows you to fine-tune what you do and how you deal with customers and implement any changes that might be needed.
Be Aware of The Funnel
A customer’s first impression of your business starts way before the final transaction. It could be via word of mouth from previous customers, via social media, your website, or walking past your office or retail outlet. As such, you need to be aware of all points of contact they will have with your company so you can give the best experience possible at every stage. This includes things such as;
- Clear branding
- Easy to navigate website
- Active social media channels
- Detailed and informative content on websites
- Clear pricing structures
- Delivery options
- A clean and tidy store
- Friendly and helpful staff
- Multiple payment options
- Suitable products or services
- High quality of service or products and customer service
Once you are aware of each point of contact, you can improve the customer experience at each stage.
Lastly, staff training is vital to help you ensure your customer service is top-notch at all times. Well-trained and informed staff members that are on hand to assist with any queries is a given, but intuitive sales mean your team is able to identify when the customer is or isn’t responding well to effort. Hence, you avoid a negative situation, and you can allow the customer more time to reach their natural endpoint with your company by completing a sale or bearing you in mind when they are ready to complete.