Updated: Mar 16
Small businesses often have to take a hit when it comes to customer service. With fewer resources, they cannot always provide the same level of service as their larger counterparts. However, this does not mean that such businesses are unable provide great customer service. in their own way. There are many ways to make the most of your limited resources and give your customers the best possible experience. In this blog post, we will discuss nine of these options. Implementing even a few of them within your business will help you stand out from the competition and provide great customer service overall.
1. Get to know your customers - This is something that many small business owners neglect to do, but can be key to helping you deliver exceptional service. Knowing your customers means knowing what they want and how they expect to be treated. You can then adapt your service accordingly. For example, if you know that your customers' needs are time-sensitive, letting them know what their expected wait time will be is extremely beneficial. Even simple things like remembering their names can go a long way towards making them feel welcome and valued.
2. Don't take your customers for granted - Small businesses sometimes take their existing customer base for granted by failing to keep them informed on new products or promotions or neglecting to give them incentives for repeat business. Treat each customer like they are your only one by building a list of repeat customers who you can contact about new products or sales. Let them know that their business is appreciated and you will see their loyalty in return.
3. Make it easy for your customers - Keep lines of communication open with your current and potential customer base through outreach efforts like email marketing, social media marketing, and newsletters. Not only will it help you build a relationship with customers and keep them coming back, but potential customers can share their great experience with friends and family.
4. Track Customer Insights - Collect feedback from customers about what they liked and did not like about their experience, as a way to make every interaction count the next time around. You will want to make sure you can provide repeatable customer service experiences. Track comments, sentiment, content of conversations, customer service trends and more. You can then take this data and use it to make improvements on how you interact with your customers.
5. Make every interaction count - Do not let any opportunity pass for interacting with your customers; be it in person or online. Whether they call, email, buy in store, or simply walk past your business on their way to a competitor's store, be sure to interact with them. A quick and friendly response will go a long way to winning over your customers' hearts and minds. Look for ways to turn unhappy customers into happy ones and form positive interactions through social media posts and online reviews.
6. Use technology - Technology is meant to help small businesses deliver better customer service; take advantage of that fact by using it to streamline certain aspects of your business operations such as order processing and inventory management. For example, if an item is out of stock, making use of an ecommerce platform like Shopify to update the product page quickly and efficiently keeps ypur customers in the know, instead of leaving them frustrated and forced to buy from a competitor.
7. Have a solid social media strategy - Customers like to engage with businesses on social media; make sure you are prepared by having relevant, interesting content ready to go at all times, this way, when a customer searches for your business on a social media platform, they find updated content. Also, it is helpful to have your social media profiles set up so that customers can easily reach out to you via private message if they have any issues or questions.
8. Be transparent - Put yourself in your customer's shoes, what information would you want to know? Then go ahead and make that information available. If something goes wrong or an item is out of stock, be upfront about it--this will help build trust and give the impression that not everything can be "perfect."
9. Invest in your team - Small businesses do not always have the money to invest in expensive technological solutions or other perks, but what you should always invest in, is your employees. Their success directly reflects yours and their engagement with customers impacts the overall customer experience.
In conclusion, small businesses have to do more with less. Your ability to provide excellent customer service should be one of the ways you make up for your lack of resources. By implementing even a few of these strategies, you will not only help your customers but also impress them. Remember, repeat business is where the real money is made.
To talk to someone regarding your business ideas or customer service methods feel free to book a free business consultation meeting. Sometimes it's just good to talk.