Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, but customer service falls low on the list of priorities all too often for smaller companies. It can be tempting to put off creating policies around customer service when you’re so busy managing all the other parts of running a business, but if your customers aren’t happy, they won’t return, and they’ll tell others to steer clear as well. The reality is, you can’t afford to ignore their needs and opinions, and why would you want to? If you’re looking to improve your customer relations in your small business, here’s how to do it right.
Attract the Right Customers
The first step in creating satisfied customers is to attract the right customers in the first place. If you’re not gearing your marketing towards the right people, or your marketing is unclear, you’re more likely to get lots of dissatisfied comments in person and online, which can scare away the people you do want interested in your business. Take the time to study your ideal audience and learn what they care about and where they spend their time. Most importantly, learn about their problems and know how you are in a unique position to solve them. Then solve that problem flawlessly, and you’re more likely to get a good NPS.
Outsourcing your customer service needs can be a great option for many small businesses that don’t have the skill or time to take care of those services in-house, but there are some reasons why you might want to handle some of those operations yourself. Communication with the customer is one task that is best completed by someone who intimately knows the company. A phone number, email address, and a chat option offer a lot of convenience, but face-to-face is often your best bet for a successful interaction. It’s harder for a lot of people to yell at a person than at a phone, and seeing someone’s facial expression and hearing their tone makes it easier to get your point across accurately.
When a customer spends a lot of money with you, extra rewards can keep them coming back often. A rewards system feels exclusive and helps you stay in contact with your best customers to get a better idea of what excites them about your company. You can offer coupons, special sales, and other exclusive events.
Practice Active Listening
Your customers often tell you exactly what you want to know, it’s just that companies are often not listening or aren’t looking in the right place. Check the comment section of your social media posts regularly to see what customers are talking about. If a lot of people are complaining about a specific feature of a product, you might want to change it. If a lot of people are asking for a specific version of a product, you might have just found a way to expand your line. You can add polls to future social media posts or send out a survey with a coupon at the end for additional feedback. This insight is valuable, and happy customers will be thrilled to share their opinions with you.
Automate Where Appropriate
While you should maintain the human element of your customer service procedures, there are places you can make this process easier on yourself. CRM software helps you keep track of all that valuable customer information, like email addresses, physical addresses, names, transaction histories, and birthdays. This helps you utilize customer data to your advantage. You can get a clearer picture of your ideal audience, see who opens emails and which subject lines get you the most attention, and see which coupons tend to be ignored. This software can also help you keep track of communication history.
Too many facets of running a business tend to take priority over customer service, but this habit could be holding you back. By making small changes to your procedures, you’ll have more satisfied customers returning and spreading the word about your business.