A small business works a little differently than a large corporation. However, one thing that remains consistently important in both types of enterprises is customer service and support. Small businesses approach customer support in their own way in order to fulfil the needs of their target market. Here are some tips to help small businesses give the best customer support possible.
#1 Personalize The Experience
One of the main reasons why a lot of people still prefer to buy things from small businesses is because of the fact that these smaller enterprises offer more personalised service. This level of personalisation needs to be attained during the customer support process as well. You need to try to establish some kind of rapport with your customers to show them that they are being taken seriously. Nothing ticks a customer off more than being made to feel like a number. This is an inevitability in big corporations, but there is no excuse for small businesses that are doing this.
#2 Always Be Available
We live in a time where pretty much everyone is used to instant gratification. If you want your customers to take you seriously, you are going to have to be available at all times, or at least give your customers an option that would allow them to contact you in situations where it is absolutely necessary. A support software such as the one offered by Kayako can really help you get the job done in situations like this. It can make twenty four hour availability a lot easier for smaller businesses that often don’t have the resources for it.
#3 Treat All Customers Equally
There is no such thing as a more important customer for small businesses. Some customers will give you more money on a regular basis, some will be useful in other ways, but all of your customers deserve to be treated with some level of respect. No matter how your customer behaves or how often they come to your store or buy your products and services, they need to be given the same special and personalised treatment that all customers are going to get from you. Creating a hierarchy is only going to alienate certain customers.
#4 Take Feedback Seriously
If there is one way in which your small business can set itself apart in a world of big fish, it is by taking customer complaints seriously. Listen to all of the feedback you have coming in. It doesn’t matter what your opinions on the matter are, all feedback is important. Corporations don’t usually pay much attention to individual feedback, they only listen to big numbers and the like. You can be different by actually implementing the more rational changes that customers are requesting, at least those that will legitimately improve your products. Your customers are the ones using your products after all, so it is natural for them to know how best to improve them.
#5 Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep
It can be easy for a small business failing in a world of intense competition to promise its customers the moon in order to attract them to what they have to offer. However, if you make promises that you then fail to keep you are going to end up looking very bad indeed in the long run. This is because of the fact that a lot of customers are going to end up no longer trusting you. It will cast a shadow over any other promise you try to make in the future.
#6 Treat Employees Well
You can’t expect your business to offer good customer support if the people that are directly responsible with talking to customers and interacting with them are not treated well. Treating your employees well is going to allow you to depend on them to take the extra step and make all of your customers feel comfortable on their own. A well respected employee will start to treat the business as their own and will become very invested in its success. This is one of the most effective ways of guaranteeing top notch service and support for your customers.
#7 Focus on Keeping The Customers You Have
One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of small businesses make is that they try to bite off more than they can chew. In an endless quest for expansion they end up trying to get new employees when what they should really be doing is holding on to the ones they have. This is important because of the fact that a dedicated customer base is what allows small businesses to thrive. Instead of trying to grab new customers, small businesses need to focus on giving the ones they have the best customer service possible.