5 ways to improve SME customer service

by | Jun 1, 2016

5 ways to improve SME customer service. If SMEs try to compete with the large corporations, in terms of pricing, then they are fighting a losing battle. However customer service is one space where small businesses can beat their competitors.

Impeccable customer service helps SMEs prosper regardless of the economic climate or the latest technology trend.

Here are a few tips to improve customer service and manage your small business efficiently. Following these will lead to credible reputation, higher customer retention and increased word-of-mouth referrals for long-term success.

Focus on these five areas to deliver exceptional customer experience.

1. Know Your Customers and Their Needs

Drafting what your customers prefer provides great understanding into the core business requirements. As Micah Solomon, a customer service expert and the author of High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service writes in his book, customers need and desire change all the time. The ability to quickly meet the needs and preferences of your customer is an advantage. You will be well equipped to deliver tailored products and services that work for your customers by learning who they are and understanding their requirements in detail. According to Jack Mitchell, the author of Hug Your Customers, selling has shifted from transactions to relationships. It has moved from a “Thank you for coming in” transaction to “How did your son or daughter do in that suit which you bought them for the interview?” relationship. This customer-service mindset is applicable to organizations trying to retain their best customers.

2. Respect Customers’ Time

Not everybody has enough time to do everything on their list in today’s chaotic world. Don’t make your customers endlessly look for you or a small information. Make it easier for them to reach out to you. They deserve a quick response.

In the new internet era, customer expectations regarding response time has shifted from days to just hours or minutes. Find out preferred communication channels and equip your customer support team to handle interactions quickly and efficiently. It is important to invest time and effort into keeping up with the ever-changing world of social media and new technology.

3. Keep Your Promises

The thing that matters the most to your customers is that you keep your word. Carl Sewell and Paul B. Brown explain how to turn onetime buyers into lifetime customers in Customer for Life. Provide the services that you say you provide in your correspondence with customers and in your marketing campaigns.

4. Build an Effective Problem-Resolution Process

Make sure you apologize for making a mistake and resolve the problem immediately. A sincere apology is extremely effective. Restoring customer confidence and earning their satisfaction in such situations is crucial. If a problem is successfully resolved, customer’s sense of trust will increase. So any breakdown is an opportunity to get closer to your customer. Show how important they are to your company and make your service even better. Follow up on the issue and document the problem in detail to prevent it from happening again.

5. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Feedback

Customers have insightful ideas on how to improve your business. Let your customers share their opinion about their experience with you. Keep an open mind to any kind of suggestion or feedback they might have. Acknowledge the importance of their opinion to build long-lasting successful relationships.

The above mentioned ways will help small businesses to keep their customers happy. Service with a smile is an excellent way to ensure customer satisfaction. Improve customer service to reduce customer churn which is one of the best customer retention strategies.

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