Small businesses all over the world are still reeling from the impact of the events of last year. Many are struggling to remain afloat, and one of the ways they can do so is by retaining or acquiring new customers. Marketing campaigns and social media outreach are both tactics some entrepreneurs may turn to, but marketing alone can’t save a business.
One strategy you should definitely use if your small business is in trouble is enhancing your customer service. Investing in improving your company’s customer services can help you not only retain your current crop of customers but also acquire new ones.
Here’s why you should do so and 6 ways you can begin enhancing it.
Why Invest in Customer Service Improvement?
You have many compelling reasons to improve your customer services. But the most salient ones involve keeping your business profitable. And the best way you can do so is by making your customers happy.
Below are the best reasons you should begin investing in improving your customer’s experience.
- Helps retain customers. Lack of profits is one of the leading causes of business failure. And your main source of income is your customers. Ensuring they remain happy with your services means they’re more likely to stay loyal to your brand, giving you much-needed income and no losses. In fact, 73 percent of consumers remain loyal due to good customer service.
- Attracts new customers. When you keep your current customers happy, they’re going to recommend your goods and services to other people. This means that satisfying them with your customer service will lead to expansion. Whether it’s through word-of-mouth, through online business directories like Yelp, or social media, happy customers will help attract new ones.
- Increases your profits. The net result of ensuring your customers are happy with your business is an increase in profits. According to experts, just improving customer retention by 5 percent can lead to a 25 percent increase in your company’s earnings. This makes enhancing customer services an invaluable tool in today’s troubled climate.
Improving Your Customer Service
Now that you know why you should improve customer services, here are some basic strategies you can utilize to make sure your small business does its best to keep people happy and loyal.
- Understand Your Customers
You won’t be able to thoroughly keep any customers satisfied with your business services if you don’t understand what they’re going through in the first place. It can be a chore to gather enough information to analyze, but there are now multiple tools you can use. For example, VOC survey software can get customer feedback and aggregate it much easier than a digital survey can.
- Personalize Messages
Customers enjoy it when businesses acknowledge them as individuals rather than as a faceless mass. Personalization is key to making customers feel more at ease. Instead of directing messages to “Sir/Madam” or the dreaded “To Whom it May Concern,” make it so that emails and similar correspondence actually use the customer’s name. There are simple programs that can help with such efforts, but they’ll be worth the satisfaction your customers will feel when they’re addressed directly.
- Use Chatbots
One problem small businesses must tackle is how they can ensure your customers have constant support in case they have questions or need assistance with your products. However, maintaining employees who can pick up the phone or respond to emails immediately 24/7 is expensive and difficult. But you can use software known as chatbots. This relatively simple software lets you program responses to customer questions or help direct them as needed. This can let your company be there for customers no matter the time of day.
- Respond in Social Media
Yet another way you can show you care about what your customers say is by responding to them on social media. Maybe they have a complaint, maybe they have a suggestion. Either way, you should always try to acknowledge customers who are genuinely trying to reach out to your business. Use friendly and welcoming language and don’t forget to thank them for their contribution.
- Always Look for Ways to Improve
Finally, never stop at just one improvement. You should always be reaching out to customers, asking them how you can make their experiences better. Your business should also conduct its own internal assessment of your customer service. Remember that it’s an endless journey with goals along the way.
Now more than ever, small businesses have to fight tooth and nail to stay open. Improving your customer service is just one way to achieve prosperity in these uncertain times. You should always be on the lookout for more strategies you can use to secure your future.