Customer service ought to be at the core of any business, and that personal touch is especially vital to keeping small businesses alive. But small businesses often don’t have the budgets to make huge overhauls in their customer service protocols. That means that if your small business customer service isn’t working, you need to figure out some moderately priced solutions. Here are five to get you started:
- Make Only Realistic Promises
Your customers won’t be happy if you don’t keep your promises, and that means only making promises you can keep. Customers will be much happier if you overdeliver, so it’s best to manage expectations initially so you can always exceed them.
- Keep On Top of Web Technology
Being a small business is no excuse for being behind the times. You don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a new website and every latest app or gadget, but you absolutely must have the basics. That includes a mobile-compatible site that’s easy to navigate and gives customers the fundamental information about your business (such as your phone number and where to find your store, if it’s a brick-and-mortar business). Anticipate the questions your customers will ask and then make it easy to find the answers.
- Hire a Business Answering Service
Sometimes it’s a good idea to call in reinforcements — quite literally, in this case, by hiring a business answering service. Phone answering services are set up so that your customers get prompt attention from a trained customer service agent each and every time they call. And since such a service can increase internal productivity and reduce labor costs, it can be simply good business to hire a business answering service.
- Ask for Personalized Feedback
Customers love to be asked for their opinions, as long as it’s in a way that feels personal. Instead of a rote “did we help you with what you needed today?” or a routine survey, find ways to truly engage your customers and follow through on their feedback. Social media provides ample opportunities for this kind of endeavor.
- Look for Ways to Let Customers Win
“The customer is always right” — so the tired saying goes. Replace that mentality with one of always looking for ways to get customers a win, and you’re likely to maintain high customer service standards without demoralizing your employees or pushing past what’s actually profitable for your business.
What else can small businesses do to improve their customer service without breaking the bank? Discuss in the comments.