When you are first starting out in business, it is important to ensure that you have the right approach in offering a customer focussed service. Not only will this help with the growth of your business, but, even better, word of mouth marketing is absolutely free!
As your reputation grows, you will begin to establish a (hopefully, loyal) customer base, as well as build up a network of contacts that will prove invaluable as your business moves forward. Fortunately, getting your customer service approach right is not rocket science, especially if you take on these few customer service tips that every small business owner should make a part of their business mantra.
Never underestimate the value of your customers
Get to know whom you are selling your services and products to. Even though it may be easier to go for the quick sale, it is the returning customer that you are aiming for, and that you are going to have to work harder to get. With social media and online marketing, it has never been easier to get instant input and feedback from your customers, but you also need to ensure that you listen to what they say and act on what you learn from them. Positive feedback will reap rewards in business and soon fill up your order book.
Establish clear and open communication with customers
Clear and open communication and transparent business transactions will establish you as a business that can be trusted. Avoid using jargon in all of your verbal and written information, keep your sales message clear and simple, and never overload the customer with information. Key things that they need to know are the features, functions and benefits of the product or service that they are buying from you, methods of payment and your reimbursement/returns policy.
Treat your customers as you would want to be treated
Treating your customers with respect is very important, and being empathetic to their needs or concerns will help them to see your business as one that really understands them and anticipates their wants. Being respectful is the start of building up goodwill with customers, goodwill being something that you may very well need to fall back on when the time comes where something does go wrong.
Training and presentation
As the saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Wherever possible, always make sure that you get it right the first time, whether it is on the telephone, in written communications, online or face to face. Getting training (both for yourself and your staff) in customer service is a worthy investment, as customer interaction is a key element of building up a loyal customer base that will form the backbone of your small business.