small business

Tips For Small Business To Improve Customer Service Experience

  • By Maulik Shah
  • 15-06-2022
  • Misc

Whether you are working on a startup or having an established business, exceptional customer service should be your primary objective. With tough competition in the marketplace, consumers have multiple options to choose from. If they are not satisfied with your service, it will not take them much time to switch to your competitors.

Out-of-the-box service will help you gain some loyal clients and they will be more than happy to come back. Ensure you offer great customer service to have a highly satisfied customer base. Though, small businesses often don't have the required resources for an exceptional customer experience. Having said that, not every business has a premium infrastructure and unlimited cash flow.

The good news is that even without unlimited resources, a business can successfully offer great customer service. With the help of a small business ticketing system, you can gain loyal customers without spending a fortune, and there is more to it. Together, let us know how to set bars high for consumer service.

Below we list some expert tips to help you provide the best experience to your consumers.

1. Work on Building A Rapport With Your Consumers
Your customer base is small, unlike other established businesses if you are starting. Here, tackling every customer will be easy. Being a small business owner, you get the opportunity to personalise experience and offer offers as per need. If you are an offline store, remembering their faces, interacting with them quite often, etc., will make a significant difference.

If you are an online store, reach out to them for feedback, provide them custom discount coupons, etc., to make them feel valued. Another way of building rapport is to start talking to your consumers and know more about them, their interests, behavior, etc. The idea here is to make your customers feel comfortable when interacting with your business.

You can also build rapport by offering genuine compliments to them. This way, they will open up and try to become more friendly with your brand. Though, make sure that you do such things professionally.

2. Have The Same Service Level For All Your Consumers
Do not differentiate among your consumers. Right from the consumers who contact you only once a year to those in frequent contact with you, they have the same level of service. Referrals, repeat customers, and former customers are highly beneficial and great assets. Retaining previous ones is easy and cost-effective as compared to attaining new ones.

Inconsistent customer experience can make things upside down. Hence, don't make this mistake. Work on building a solid process to help a customer get through the customer lifecycle efficiently. This lifecycle covers the entire sales process, right from reach, to consideration, to making a sale and after-sale service. Customer service should not be limited to one department; consider it an entire company.

Unique and consistent customer experience will help you gain repeat customers. They will trust your business more and will also buy from you regularly.

3. Hire Employees With Incredible People Skills
When you look for customer care executives for your business, consider hiring the best. Not just one, but you need to hire the right team. From the cashier to the person responsible for picking calls, you should hire individuals with great people skills. Customer care representatives are often the face of a business, and so you need to ensure that your face is worth showing.

If a customer sends you an email, they want to be heard, and they want to interact with an agent who would answer their concerns. To manage this situation, you will need a pro at this. Having said that, even if you have the best technology and product/service in place, a rude customer service rep will frustrate your consumer.

Consumers want to interact with people who are friendly and polite when conversing. Moreover, your customer service agent should be knowledgeable enough to answer all queries on the spot. The reps should possess great interpersonal skills, patience, flexibility, and empathy.

4. Be a Brand Evangelist
The experience that your consumers have with your brand starts from the initial moment. Having said that, the moment the frontline staff contacts them. Be a leader in the industry by setting examples and being a brand evangelist. Showcase behavior that will help build your brand. Furthermore, it will help promote the significance of being a brand that is aware of its consumers.

Additionally, you should be authentic with your consumers and staff as well. Do not micromanage. Allow your staff to take steps and do what is right for the consumer, keeping your brand and identity in mind.

You can also conduct interviews and feedback sessions with your customers. Collect ideas about how you can improve your brand and what you should consider doing. You can analyze the data collected from multiple consumers and work on the common ones.

5. Leverage a Customer Service Software
With tough competition among businesses in the market, it is becoming challenging for businesses to manage it all. No denying the fact that as a small business, you don't have to handle numerous customer tickets daily. Having said that, it becomes unnecessary to hire an entire team to get the task done. Additionally, it will punch a hole in your pocket by exceeding the budget.

This is why you should consider the best customer support software for small businesses. The tools are designed specifically to take care of customer service. They ensure the efficiency of a business in handling customer service. Such software helps in handling a lot of tasks and offers seamless customer service.

Moreover, with software in place, you will only have to appoint two individuals to manage the work. Without software, you may need a team of 10 to support your consumers. This way, you will be able to provide exceptional service to your consumers at low overhead costs.

This is the right time to invest in customer service software and get started with it.

6. Practice Collaboration With Your Team
You must have heard of the famous proverb, "two heads are better than one". When you have two people work on resolving tickets, the process of solving consumer queries expedites. This way, you will achieve a happy workday and gain several happy consumers. Though, things may not be as easy as they seem.

Ensuring that your team works as one and offers consistent customer service may be difficult at times. To avoid all mishaps while offering customer service is to encourage your staff to work as one. Also, tell them to address all concerns together.

If you are using a small business ticketing system, several tools offer team inboxes where they can collaborate to serve better. Some systems allow linking of the tickets with team inboxes to know which one is open and which is resolved. This way, your staff will be able to simultaneously handle all service requests and inquiries.

7. Be Easily Reachable
Contact is the key to making sure you offer great customer service every time a consumer tries to reach out to you. The moment your consumers start looking for your business, or the product or service you are offering, customer experience starts. Hence, your small business must set channels for consumers that are highly preferred and easily reached. An omnichannel approach works best these days.

It helps cover everything right from phone calls to social media interactions. This will help you narrow down the gap between your business and customer experience. You will get a chance to make it more personalized for your consumers. Furthermore, it helps streamline the process and resolve customer queries faster.

Keep representatives who can work on resolving the tickets as soon as they start piling up. Having two or three reps to do the task would be sufficient.

8. Personalise your messages
Let me ask you a question – what do you do when a customer signs up for a free trial of your product or service or buys from you? Do you send them a personalised email or a generic automated message?

While the automated onboarding messages do cut down on the cost and man power, they don’t make your customer feel special. An automated message will never be able to invite a user in ways a personal message does.

Hence, when a customer buys your product or reaches out for a free trial, reach out personally and ask them if they have any questions. Even if they don’t, they’ll appreciate your gesture and form a positive impression about you.

Research shows that personalised emails:
Have 29% higher open rates
Have 41% higher click rates
Deliver 6 times more transaction rates

So, how do you personalise these messages?
You can use a friendly, familiar and informal tone and style of writing.
you can use their names to address them.
The Bottom Line

You need to work on building a solid customer service team. This doesn't mean hiring more heads but rather streamlining the process in that department. Ensure that it is easy for your consumers to contact you when in need. Train your staff to respond to your consumers timely and courteously. This will help you foster strong relationships with your consumers and also yield increased sales.

The market is flooded with numerous customer support software. Make sure that you pick the best customer support software for small businesses. This will help you offer the best customer experience as your business grows.

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