Small businesses can use several strategies to improve customer service.
Most small businesses typically have limited resources, including employees, time, and money. Therefore, small business owners must be resourceful. This is especially true when planning how to best use these resources to meet the needs of customers.
Use customer relationship management (CRM) data.
CRM data can be used in a variety of ways to improve customer service.
Because it contains a database of customer profiles, including contact information and birth dates, small businesses can send customers personalized birthday cards, thank you notes, or holiday cards. These digital greeting cards can also include an incentive, such as a promotional offer.
For example, if CRM data indicates that a customer frequently buys a certain product, employees can send the customer a coupon for the product along with a birthday greeting. Marketing strategies such as this one can improve customer service. They also increase customer retention, and build brand loyalty.
Respond quickly to customers’ concerns.
When a customer shares a concern about a product or service they have purchased, it’s time to act.
It is not only essential to address the customer’s concern. It is essential to do so as quickly as possible. That’s why high-profile service providers such as private doctors and lawyers are turning to human answering services. For instance, a human answering service for a law office instills trust in callers as well as keeps your staff immediately informed in case a client has an urgent issue that needs quick attention.
Addressing a customer’s concerns with a lack of urgency makes the customer feel as if they are unimportant and unappreciated.
Provide opportunities for honest feedback — positive and negative.
Small businesses can collect feedback from customers through surveys, online forms, or social media reviews.
Some companies censor their reviews when possible by requesting that negative reviews be removed. However, small businesses can use honest feedback as an opportunity to improve customer service.
For instance, if a customer reports a negative experience in an online review, small business owners can address the feedback publicly and privately. When small business owners publicly address negative feedback, current and future customers can see whether the business owner responds professionally and whether they are willing to offer a solution.
As small business owners address negative reviews with customers privately, it gives them an opportunity to change the customer’s perspective and regain their trust. When small business owners respond to positive reviews, it shows current and potential customers that the company appreciates and cares about their customer base and their customer service.
Use feedback to improve.
In addition to addressing feedback from customers, small business owners can also use the feedback customers provide to improve their services.
For example, let’s say a small business owner is a grocer. They receive several reviews from clients stating that the organization of the store is confusing.
They could consider reorganizing the grocery store in a way that makes more sense to customers. Customers see that small business owners are not only taking their ideas into consideration but are also taking action. They are implementing changes based on feedback. As a result, they feel more invested in the company and its success.
There are several ways that small business owners can distinguish themselves from larger businesses.
Big businesses can make customers feel as if they are only a number. By taking the time to improve customer service, small business owners can create a brand that earns customers’ loyalty.