In a small business, customers matter more than ever. With a smaller customer base, it’s crucial to ensure every customer interaction is a positive one. If every customer leaves satisfied, your business will be much more likely to retain that customer and get their business again. So how do you make your small business stand out without damaging your bottom line?
Build a Relationship With Every Customer
One of the most important things you can do to better your customer service as a small business owner is to have a rapport with each customer. By getting on their level and seeing them as an individual, not just as a number, you make them want to come back time and time again. Retaining a customer is one of the most important aspects of being a small business owner, as most of your business will come from repeat customers. When a customer comes to your business, whether it’s online or in-person, they should immediately feel welcomed. No matter if they’re a returning guest or a first-time buyer, everyone should be treated with the same level of respect and friendliness in your business. Things like responding to emails and questions quickly, regularly updating your social media, and just having plenty of open lines of communication between you and your customers are all important parts of small business marketing. By making every guest feel wanted, they will be more likely to come back to you over a competitor.
Place Emphasis on Feedback
Another way you can help your customer service improve without putting yourself in the red is by really listening to your feedback. This goes along with your rapport with the customers, but when you get a review, be it on your site or in your store, don’t just brush it off. Take that review to heart and try to figure out how you can improve. While you might get the occasional grumpy customer who leaves a bad review just because they want to, most of your reviews will contain useful information on what you’re doing right and wrong and how you can get even better.
Placing good emphasis on feedback should mean there’s always an open line of communication between you and your customers. If a customer has a problem with something or is debating dropping you as a business, you should be right there figuring out how to help. In most cases, making the client feel appreciated and wanted will keep them as a customer, no matter how upset they were to begin with. If needed, give an angry customer incentive to make returning worth it for them. They will often remember what you did to help them more than why they were upset, so schmoozing a little will gain you a long-term client.
Bring in People Who Problem-Solve
Your absolute biggest weapon in your arsenal is your employees. No matter how small your business is, these are the people who interact with your customers first-hand. Make sure every employee has the same standard of respect and care toward every guest who comes to your
business. On top of the respectful of your employees, they should also be avid problem solvers. Your employees are the face of your business and will be the ones solving the majority of customer issues. If they aren’t willing to work with your clients to find an agreeable solution that keeps the customer returning to you, your business will dwindle slowly over time. Make it a high priority to bring in employees with great people skills. They’ll keep you less stressed and take care of your customers at the same time, leaving your overhead increasing and your to-do list shrinking. The more positive interactions customers have with your employees, the more they’ll want to come back. Hire people who emphasize problem-solving and great customer service and your business will thrive.
Overall, you don’t have to sacrifice your bottom line for great customer service as a small business owner. You can keep your clients happy while keeping more cash in your pocket all at the same time.