You buy a product online. You can not wait for it to be delivered! It finally arrives only to not work properly. You take a deep breath and call the 800 number listed for support or inquiries. You reach a person who sounds like you just interrupted their afternoon nap and they are none too happy about it. The whole call consists of uninterested and extremely unhelpful comments from the person getting paid to help you. You hang up and vow to never shop with that company again! This is a regrettable reality for many companies today that do not realize just how important small business customer service is.
Taking the scenario a bit farther, the unhappy customer can, and most likely will, do irreparable harm to the company. What businesses do not take into consideration today is the speed which one person can spread bad “word of mouth” with reviews, or on website comments. If you are a small business just starting out, especially if you are going for an online presence, bad reviews can be a death blow. No matter if you are offering a service or a product, if your customer service is below par, you are going to take a fall.
A new business should train and build an excellent customer service base from the beginning. It is not simply CS, it is just as much public relations! Remember, this is usually the only contact a customer will ever have with your company, and you want a team that will make that customer on the line feel as though they are the most important one. An excellent CS representative can handle the most irate customer in such a way as to end the call on a good note and a happy, return customer. After all, without satisfied customers, there is no business.
A small business customer service operation is the cornerstone of the company. Why not expand that presence? Utilize online support systems and even social media. The more options a customer has to reach you and resolve an issue is only going to grow your business.
There are several ways to learn how to build and train an outstanding small business customer service base such as the help you will find here.
Many times it will be muttered in certain circles that perhaps the customer is not always right. This is the wrong attitude to have. The simple truth is, if they are a customer at all, then they are right. If they have opted to spend their time and money with your company, anything they have to say is the most important thing you will hear. Make sure the representative completely understands the customer’s complaint before trying to offer a solution. Using phrases like “Ok. Now I understand.”, or “Let me see what I can do to help you.”, will take you a long way in reassuring a customer that you care about their business. Never rush a customer, or try to guess what they need before they are done explaining. Nothing will sour the experience more than a person feeling like they are not being heard. Even agreeing that “Yes, that can be frustrating.”, will soothe a potentially explosive situation.
Impress upon your customer service representatives the simple rule of “No customers, no paycheck”. Those calls are not just parts of a daily job, they are people that want to be treated with respect like anyone else. Customer service is the most critical part of a small business, and making sure you have that strong basis, you have all the building blocks for a profitable future.
Looking back at the upset customer, let’s change the outcome to superior service. The problem was resolved quickly, and the customer, expecting a bad experience, was extremely happy. They go on to tell their friends, post on social media, and leave reviews telling everyone they can how they received the best treatment in such an impersonal age.
For more tips on building or improving your small business customer service base, please visit this website.
It’s always worth it to start out on the right foot!