5 Steps to Excellent Customer Service:
Before taking your small business to the next level you need to ensure that your customer service is excellent! When people grow a business one of the things that bring them down is their customer service. Now because you have a small business you are more than likely the one that speaks to all customers directly if they have a problem. You will already know how good quality customer service brings more sales into your business.
5 Steps to Excellent Customer Service can be the key to a good business or a great business!
Now at this point in time customers’ expectations are rising whilst small businesses are finding that they have lower resources available to invest in customer service. If you want to grow your small business and take it to the next level you need to see customer service as an investment so you need to allow a budget for this as part of your growth.
Here are the 5 Steps to Excellent Customer Service:
1. Be available
Ensure that you are available for your customer no matter which way they want to communicate with you. Research shows that most people like to communicate through email and social media but don’t forget those who prefer phone or face to face contact. So ensure that you keep all forms of communication available for your customers
2. Collect Feedback
Above customers want to know that they have been heard and that their problem has been solved. Ensure that you have someone in your small business that is responsible for collecting feedback from your customers after a sale or a service has been completed, support has been provided, or the customer has complained. Successful businesses are those that know their customers inside and out and know what makes them raving fans or an irritated customer never to be seen again and spreading the bad word about your business. Get to know your customer and measure the results of customer contact so that you can make them happy every time.
3. Use Social Media
Whilst not everyone uses social media (although at least 95% of people across all age ranges use Facebook) it can be an extremely cost effective way of engaging with your customers to find out what their needs are. Used as part of your customer service mix, social media have great potential to cut costs within your customer services operations. Set up right you can have nearly your whole customer services process online so that it limits your need to directly speak to some customers at all.
4. Give your staff ownership
Excellent customer service can come from employees who have been given responsibility to manage customer contact from beginning to end. If you educate, coach and mentor your employees to that they are delivering the service the way that you want and then give them total responsibility to look after the customer entirely you can see amazing results. Customers don’t like to be passed around to a number of employees so the more responsibility that you can give staff the better results you will see.
5 Steps to Excellent Customer Services (cont.)
5. Systemise It and Roll Out!
If you want your staff to give excellent customer service every time you need a system with all the information that staff need to give that service. Once you have that system in place you need to train, mentor and coach your staff and provide feedback so that they know whether they are on the right track. Regular meetings with staff about customer service as a follow up is necessary to give them the chance to ask questions, bring up points that don’t work in the system and get feedback from you. Once you have a system that works in will just be maintenance and monitoring of results.
After owning and managing small to medium businesses for over 18 years
Tammy Love is Ms Small Biz -- she has a love/hate relationship with
business! She knows first hand that it is really exciting to grow something and
provide the best possible service/product for customers but yet it can
also be tiring, hard and down right exhausting! She
also knows how lonely that it can be being a business owner. She is using her website | Facebook page and Twitter to help others achieve their dream of starting or getting through the beast that is small business!
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