June 13, 2016

How to Master Successful Small Business Customer Service

Every company needs a strong customer service department that handles client matters. Even if you’re a small business, your associates should be trained to handle these issues in a professional and interactive manner. Although it can be difficult to put on a smile when a customer is complaining, part of customer service for small businesses is dealing with grievances professionally, while offering fair solutions. When conducted efficiently, customer service builds relationships and notifies management of issues that may need to be evaluated. Many companies don’t realize that while having trained customer service representatives is important, customer service should be exuded in all areas of your business. As a unified team, demonstrating dedication to customer service will set your business apart from competitors. The following approaches will benefit your business’s relationship with customers:

Grin and bear it

Handling small business customer service issues is easier said than done. At times, it can be exhausting to deal with grumpy customers, or people who are being difficult to please. Although it is instinctual to defend your company, dealing with customers requires a humble attitude. Getting angry with a complaining customer will never result in a constructive experience for your company or the patron. Remember, people talk, and if you lose your temper with a customer, they will probably tell other people who may decide not to use your services. Your reputation as a small business matters, and the way you interact with customers will determine that. Even if you’re screaming on the inside, maintain a professional disposition, and the outcome will be much better.

Attend customer service training

Perfecting customer service entails extra effort. Providing employees with customer service training will help them learn your business’s guidelines for interacting with clients. Require employees to attend customer service training sessions to ensure everyone is on the same page. While it may seem like an inconvenience, it will make your business run smoother.

Put policies in writing

To guarantee consistent professionalism, put all policies in writing. Every new hire should be given a copy of these guidelines, so they are prepared to deal with customer interactions. In addition, keep records of customer complaints and who dealt with them. This is beneficial, since upper management can identify any patterns and make changes accordingly.

Offer employee incentives and encouragement

Although your employees should know that providing excellent customer service is required, giving them incentives will likely inspire them to produce better results. Small business customer service can often be a thankless job, so commend your employees for their efforts and make sure they feel appreciated.

Follow up with the customer

After dealing with a difficult or unhappy customer, the last thing you want to do is have to re-start the conversation again. It may be tempting to try and get the customer off your back as soon as possible, but it is important to try and find a solution that will satisfy them. Afterwards, follow up with the customer to ensure they are content with how their issue was handled. Small business customer service isn’t easy, but requiring your employees to comply with set guidelines for tending to patrons is crucial. By making customer service a priority, you will create client relationships that are sustainable, and your business will continue to grow.