By its very nature, a small business is always fighting fire- every now and then with vendors, occasionally with members of staff, and intermittently with customers. While conflicts with vendors and workers can be resolved with small conciliations from both sides; it is misunderstandings with customers that can harm a small business deeply.
While consistent excellence in customer service is one of the most effective ways to build a formidable competitive advantage for any business, it becomes significantly central for a small business given their scale of operations.
Keeping that in mind, we have created this practical little customer service guide for small businesses. You’re welcome to share it with your team and refer to it regularly so you’re left with more time to ignite fires-in the-belly rather than fighting fires of a different kind!
Here we go…
- It begins with a statement of intent. You just cannot agree to provide an exceptional customer support unless you decide you have to. The intent is simply the first step to push you to find ways to the ultimate objective. Unless you know the destination, you’re bound to lose the way soon.
- Use your size to your advantage. Deep personalization is what customers expect from a small business. That’s the first reason they chose to do business with you. So remembering their names and important dates in a data-friendly manner should be a priority. Make them feel a part of your business’s universe.
- Practice hard to play better. Once you are sure of your path, it is imperative you prepare for it with all your available resources. You can either train your people or hire a professional customer support outsourcing company to do the job for you. At first glance, outsourcing seems an avoidable cost but dig a little deeper and you’ll realize the cost is lower when compared to training your people or hiring dedicated customer service staff. Both the options work perfectly well as long as the intent is complemented with expertise.
- Sorry is clichéd! Every customer service agent says sorry when a customer complaints but very few actually mean it, and trust me, it shows. Whether you are on phone or in person, unless you really feel bad, your words don’t carry an iota of comfort for the disappointed customer. So what’s the way forward? Apologize, but apologize absolutely right. Your words should carry enough weight for the customer to feel safe in your hands. Not easy, we know but crucial nonetheless!
- Empower your employees. Now comes the trickiest part! While it is important to trust your employees, how much leverage should you give them while dealing with a disappointed customer? Trust me, there is no easy way out, and you’ve to take a few risks and back your customer support executive even though you may disagree with his dealings in a particular situation. Going back-and-forth, you’ll definitely be able to devise a solution where the customer and your small business, both remain pleased with the end result.
Customer service skills are not easily adapted. Your competitor may be able to mimic your logo or price their products strategically similar or lower, but it takes time, patience, and wisdom to build up or hire a team of dedicated customer service executives who are diligent in their tenacity to turn frowns into smiles and keeping the customer invested in your small business.
At Open Mind Services Limited , we ensure we listen more than we say; that is the foundation of a great relation. Our customer support executives are educated the same values and skills to improve customer attrition, and maximize engagement for every client of ours.