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8 Ways to Improve Small Business Customer Service

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Follow 411dotca on Twitter and LinkedIn for daily small biz advice. 

Here at 411.ca, we are constantly striving to improve our own customer relationships. So one of our Customer Service Specialists, Amanda Luu, put together her top 8 ways to improve your small business customer service so you can build stronger bonds with your clients.

1. Get to know your client outside of the work perspective

You and your customers may have more in common than that mutual transaction. As a small business owner, you work right in your community and you’ll likely be finding your customers within that local area.

By getting to know your customers on a day-to-day level you open yourself to a genuine connection, which strengthens your business relationship. Customers love to share their experiences and once you create that bond with a client, they’re more likely to positively refer your business to their own networks.

2. Prioritize word of mouth marketing

According to Nielsen, 84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products – making these recommendations the information source ranked highest for trustworthiness. Visit this link for more statistics about word or mouth marketing.

3. Pay attention to your tone and body language

Research conducted on body language throughout the years has shown the importance of our tone of voice, and our actions. Based on the study Albert Mehrabian undertook in 1971, the results of which are still often quoted today:

  • Words (the literal meaning) account for 7% of the overall message
  • Tone of voice accounts for 38% of the overall message
  • Body Language accounts for 55% of the overall message

Thus, as a business owner offering customer service, the tone you use and the body language you portray can have a heavy impact on the customer’s experience and dictate how you resolve client concerns.

4. Show that you understand your customers’ concerns

With any business, issues will arise and understandably, not all of these situations will be within your control. While a customer can be upset and solutions may seem futile, the best you can offer as a business owner is your attention.

By listening to your clients and showing them you understand their concerns, your clients are more likely to see that you are working to help them, and will respond more positively. Once you have allowed your customer the chance to voice their concerns, address them together and work towards a compromise. Realistically, you won’t be able to please everyone with your solution, but the empathy and consideration you show a client can leave them with a much better impression, even if they don’t receive the original resolution they were looking for.

5. Take customer suggestions

In addition to addressing customer concerns, customers also want to know that their feedback is important. Feedback is crucial to building your business and improving your customer service. Not every client who has feedback will be upset; sometimes clients enjoy your service but have some feedback on how they see you can improve for other clients, as well as for their own experience. By building that open and amicable communication with your customers, they will feel comfortable with providing you feedback.

6. Incorporate customer feedback

Your customers want to see that you not only heard their feedback, but are making the appropriate changes. Once customers see that their concerns are being heard and incorporated, they are more likely to feel a positive connection to the business. The better these positive connections are fostered, the more likely your customers will recommend your business and help your business grow.

7. Post customer testimonials 

The presence of the Internet has changed how businesses work and customers often turn to the Internet to find a business. In doing so, customers like to be informed when they make their buying decisions; especially if it’s a business they found online and have not dealt with before. Posting the feedback you receive allows potential customers to hear about other people’s experience of dealing with your business. You can even pull testimonials directly from your 411.ca reviews to post on your website.

8. Improve your social media presence

Building up your online presence through social media and other platforms is important for your customer service. Being active on social media will show potential customers that you are involved with your brand and easy to find. Your social media presence enables customers to be constantly exposed to your product or services. It also creates the impression that you are easy to reach, which opens up communication. Since 2015, there has been a 10% global increase in the number of social media users.

Based on your business and your brand, your reach of potential clients has grown exponentially through the use of social media. With the proper tools in place, you can use your social media empire to grow your business to new levels, previously impossible due to restrictions of your local area. 411.ca is here to help all our clients reach understand the importance of social media, and to help build their social and digital presence to bring their businesses to new heights.

At the end of the day, exceptional customer service comes back to one thing: building lasting relationships. The goal of exceptional customer service is to build a customer for life and that all starts with a positive customer experience. A happy customer will not only help with customer retention, but they will also help with customer acquisition, since they will be more likely to refer your business to their own sources.

When building a relationship with a customer, think about more than just business. The more genuine you can make your customer interactions, the more likely you will be able to build an open line of communication. This communication allows for prioritizing customer issues, integrating customer feedback, and leaves a positive impression of your business, which will extend from your customers to potential customers within your market.

Follow 411dotca on Twitter and LinkedIn for daily small biz advice. 

 

Care has worked in marketing, PR and communications for small and multinational brands in Canada and abroad. Coming from a family of small business owners, Care is passionate about helping small business, freelancers and entrepreneurs succeed by maximizing the return on their marketing investments.