If you are a business owner, planning to start your own business, or employed in a small business, then you should be concerned about whether or not you’re giving satisfaction to your customers. This is basically what sets small businesses apart from national ones. In small businesses, each customer is treated with utmost respect and warmth – like the customer is a family member or a friend. However, great customer service is not just making your customers feel comfortable. You also have to know how to handle problems – responding and resolving issues.
Here are some tips on how to ensure great customer service no matter what the season is:
Daily Customer Interaction
Some customers are great in telling whether or not you are paying attention to them. If you have a customer who is saying something to you, whether it’s a complaint or a suggestion, make sure that you show them you are listening to what they’re saying. You can even take down notes or repeat back what they have said just to assure them that you care about what they have to say. In doing so, listen to their words and the tone of their voice, and observe their body language. It’s a must to provide clear and concise communication with them. If in case you can’t respond to them immediately, provide a timeline for them so they know when to expect your response. Be sure to keep note of that and follow-up on time.
If your small business does not require you to have a face-to-face interaction with your customers, find ways to keep in touch – this still shows that you are listening to what they have to say and that you are eager to keep the lines of communication open. You can hand out surveys to find out what they think of your products or services. You can easily be available online – use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more. Remember that customer service is about meeting the needs and expectations of your customers based on their own perspectives. Solicit feedback and use that information to inform your customers that you will find new ways to make your services more relevant to them. You have to know what your customers before you can provide it to them.
At the end of the day, your customers will remember if they were treated kindly or rudely by you or your staff. This is why it’s important to hire employees who are willing to go the extra mile for the customers – and not just ‘do their job’. You can have simple role plays with your employees by giving them real-life situations involving easy-going and difficult customers. You can observe how they handle different situations and you will be able to coach them on areas they need to improve to provide excellent customer service.