Great customer service starts with building great relationships. Whether you’re running a retail store, a hair salon, or a small accounting firm, employing the right people to represent your brand and implementing strong customer service strategies are crucial to the success of your business.
If you wonder how to improve customer service at your small business, here are a few helpful tips that can help you stand out from your competitors.
- Get social and build community
In-person exchanges play a key role in delivering great customer service, but they’re just one part of the equation in today’s business world. Building relationships with your customers across digital platforms allows you to extend these interactions, engage with clients on a new level, and improve customer retention. If your business doesn’t already have a presence on social media, set up accounts on platforms that are relevant to your industry and monitor these channels daily. Post engaging content that relates to your product offering, follow industry peers and customers, and respond to comments and questions in a timely and personal manner. Re-share content from users who post about your business, and thank them for their support.
- Ask for feedback
Want more customer reviews? It doesn’t hurt to ask. Send past clients a follow-up survey, and encourage happy customers to rate and review your business on third-party platforms. Not only do customer reviews help generate new business leads, but they’ll also provide you with valuable feedback on your business to measure your customer service success and identify potential areas for improvement. If you need to incentivize your customers to complete a questionnaire or leave an online review, try offering discounts on a future service or hosting a giveaway.
- Be proactive in your problem-solving
Customers want to feel heard – especially when they have an issue – and they appreciate businesses that take the time to understand their point of view. Monitor customer feedback on social media and respond to online reviews – both positive and negative – in a timely manner to build rapport and address any customer service issues. When responding to customer complaints, make sure to listen carefully, take responsibility, and outline what actions you will take to resolve the issue. Be transparent and empathetic in all of your customer service interactions – whether in person or online – and take accountability for mistakes.
- Hire, and train, for success
You know what they say, first impressions are everything. The day-to-day interactions between your customers and front-line staff will have a significant impact on your business reputation and how others perceive your brand, so it’s important to be diligent in your hiring. Recruit individuals with strong people skills who can think on their feet and provide them with hands-on product and service training, so they’re able to answer customer questions and solve issues as they arise. If you want to motivate managers and staff to deliver great customer service, establish employee incentive programs that will help them become invested in the success of the business.
Don’t underestimate the importance of delivering excellent customer service. Happy customers can become loyal brand ambassadors who will support your business over the long-term and share valuable word-of-mouth recommendations with their network.