One of the most important things a small business owner must understand right from the get-go is the importance of creating excellent customer experiences. Because customers are the key to profit and business longevity, maintaining a superior level of customer service and ensuring a pleasant shopping experience is as important as keeping your shelves stocked with products.
Reign in on your customer service and experience skills and fix up the mistakes that your business might be making with these five smart tips.
- As sad as it is, there will be times when your customers complain about a service, product or experience. Unfortunate as it may be, this is actually a blessing in disguise, because you’re given the opportunity to make things right with the customer. Instead of giving a quick apology or simply issuing a refund, take the time to really communicate with the customer to figure out what went wrong. By providing them with patience, understanding and compassion, you can change their mind about the situation and earn a great deal of respect (and quite possibly a loyal customer!).
- With the rise of social media marketing in the business world, so many companies are now offering live chats and 24/7 customer support services. Because most small business don’t have the time or resources to provide that level of service, it becomes even more imperative that the quality of your customer service is top-notch. Make sure you have enough staff working each day so customers on the phone and at the store never have to wait long to be heard. It’s also a good idea for you (or a trusted employee) to monitor your social media and email accounts during the day to make sure any questions and comments can be attended to right away.
- Because people engage in so much mobile activity these days, not having a website that’s smart-phone friendly is an easy way to lose customers. If they’re trying to purchase something online using their mobile device and can’t access your website in a fast or readable way, the customer will become annoyed and give up in a flash. To avoid this online customer experience mistake, make sure your website is mobile-friendly so you don’t lose traffic, sales and the opportunity to grow your customer base.
- One of the best ways to figure out if your customers are happy with their experience is to simply ask them! If you don’t have an online survey or questions and comments box in your store, your customers will either feel like they have nowhere to voice their concerns about your store … or even worse, they’ll turn to social media. If you’re looking for an easy way to connect with your customers, learn what they want and increase your transparency, set up a clear place for them to let it all out. And to promote this new feature, offer them a reward or draw!
- Last but not least, it’s important that you never forget to praise and engage your hardworking employees. If your staff aren’t happy and satisfied, your customers won’t receive the excellent service and experience that is crucial for a successful business.