Providing excellent service is essential for the growth and success of any business, large or small. While small and medium size business may not compete in the big league, prioritizing satisfying their customers can boost their growth and success.
Here are a few things you can do to improve your customer service and manage your small business efficiently. Following these will earn your business a credible reputation, higher customer retention and increased word-of-mouth referrals for long-term success.
If you focus on these five key areas, you will deliver outstanding customer experience and watch your business grow in leaps and bounds.
- Know your customers and their needs
Customers need and desire change all the time. If you can quickly meet their needs and preferences you are on your way to success. But the key is to first know them and what they need. There are many great sources of market intelligence that can help you define your customers and their needs. Talking to your customers friends, following media conversations- including social media, observing behavior are some of the ways you can find out who your customer is and their needs.
Learning who they are, and understanding their needs in detail will equip you to deliver tailored products and services that work for them. Business has shifted from transactional to relational. It has moved from a “Thank you for coming” transaction to “How did your son or daughter like the shoes you bought them last time?” kind of a relationship.
- Respect Customers’ Time
I did not have all the time to wait for the shoe-seller to get over with his animated conversation. Not everybody has enough time to do everything on their list in today’s chaotic world. Don’t make your customers endlessly wait or look for you, or some information on your business. Make it easier for them to reach out to you. They deserve a quick response.
In this internet era, customer expectations regarding response time has shifted from days to instant. Or just hours or minutes, at the worst. It is important to invest time and effort in keeping up with the ever-changing social media and new technology which have really changed customer behaviors.
- Keep your word
Can your customers take your word to the bank? It really matters to them that you keep your word. Keeping your promise has the ability to turn one-time buyers into lifetime customers. If you have a website or a social media page where you have posted your products or services, make sure customers will get them when they visit your shop. If you promise a customer to check on an item in three days, save them the hassle and disappointment of not getting it.
- Build a helpful problem-resolution process
Have the entrepreneurial humility to apologize for making a mistake and resolve the problem immediately. A sincere apology is worth a lot more than just a single sale. Restoring customer confidence and earning their satisfaction in such situations is crucial. When you successfully resolve a problem, your customers’ sense of trust increases. So any dissatisfaction is an opportunity to get closer to your customer, not to burn bridges. Show how important they are to your business and make your service even better. Follow up on the issue and prevent it from happening again.
- Ask for feedback
Customers have insightful ideas on how to improve your business. Allow your customers to honestly share their opinion or criticism with you, even when it’s uncomfortable. Keep an open mind to any kind of suggestion or feedback they might have and acknowledge the importance of their opinion to build long-lasting successful relationships.
These are just a few of the ways you can make your business great and keep your customers happy. Service with a smile is an excellent way to ensure customer satisfaction. And a satisfied customer is worth a fortune to your business.