Customer service should be a priority for every small business. Since loyal patrons are the lifeblood of your enterprise, regarding them as expendable and treating their needs as unimportant doesn’t bode well for your long-term profitability. So, if your approach to customer service could use some refinement – if not an outright overhaul – there’s no time like the present to start implementing positive change. In the interest of taking your customer service to the next level, put the following pointers into practice.
Offer Timely Replies to Customer Feedback
Consumers appreciate feeling like their feedback matters. The more willing a business is to address customer feedback and implement positive change as a result of certain feedback, the more likely customers are to feel as if their voices are being heard. Conversely, businesses that regard customer feedback as unimportant and assume that every conceivable customer grievance is unwarranted tend to have trouble attracting repeat patrons.
So, regardless of whether or not you agree with a specific piece of feedback, you’d do well to address it in a timely manner. Whenever you receive an email, text message or phone call from a customer who wishes to offer feedback, make a point of getting back to this person posthaste. Even if you don’t necessarily agree with their feedback, take care to thank them for their input and promise to devote special attention to the matter. No one knows what consumers want more than other consumers, and if you disregard valuable feedback from your patrons, your business is likely to become increasingly out of touch with their needs. Consider implementing automated text messaging to stay on top of customers’ opinions as their feedback can encourage more growth via word-of-mouth, turn someone from seeing a bad review, and lessen repeat customers.
Don’t Seek to Minimize Customer Grievances
Regardless of how open you are to customer feedback, there’s no way you’re going to agree with every piece of feedback that comes your way. After all, no matter how accommodating your business is, you’re liable to find that some people are simply incapable of being pleased. However, this doesn’t mean that you should ever seek to minimize customer grievances. Even if you don’t view a certain grievance as a matter of any particular importance, you need to understand that the customer does. So, the next time you’re presented with a grievance that strikes you as trivial, hear the customer out and let them know they’re being heard instead of actively seeking to minimize. Consumers value feeling important, and one of the most effective ways to make them feel unimportant is minimizing any grievances they bring before you.
Be Willing to Apologize and Make Amends
Some business owners would seemingly see their respective businesses shut down before offering up apologies. All of us have known people who are fiercely opposed to apologizing under any circumstances, and more often than not, these people are an absolute nightmare to deal with. Needless to say, an unwillingness to provide customers with apologies is not going to do your business any favors in the consumer relations department.
A simple apology can go a long way towards de-escalating an uncomfortable customer service situation. So, even if you don’t feel as if a certain customer deserves an apology, just remember that providing them with one costs you absolutely nothing.
Utilize Cutting-Edge CRM Software
Utilizing dependable customer relationship management (CRM) software can be a boon to your business’s long-term approach to customer service. The right software will enable you to meticulously organize customer data and share it across a variety of departments, ultimately making it easier for your business to recognize the needs of its customers and refine its approach to customer service accordingly. So, if your current CRM software isn’t up to snuff – or you lack CRM software altogether – now would be a great time to start exploring your options. Check out Replicant contact center automation for an example of an intuitive and effective call center solution.
No small business can afford to overlook the necessity of good customer service. The better you treat your patrons, the more amenable they’ll be to gracing you with repeat business. So, if the customer service provided by your business leaves a lot to be desired, you should start taking active measures to correct this posthaste. In the age of instant feedback and online reviews, lackluster customer service stands to destroy even the most well-intentioned of businesses. Small businesses owners looking to get their customer service back on track can benefit from the measures discussed above.