Customer service is the difference between a satisfied customer and a shopper who’ll never purchase from your business again. Help Scout reports approximately 86% of customers say they would visit a business again if they receive great customer service.

This article will:

  • Explain why good customer service is important for small businesses
  • Detail the most important qualities in a customer service strategy
  • List the elements of customer service that would help small businesses
  • Explain how to implement and improve customer service

Why Is Customer Service So Important to Your Small Business?

You should think of customer service as a part of your product or service. It’s something that satisfies your customers and leads to repeat sales. Excellent customer service is especially important because small businesses might find it much harder to replace a customer after a bad experience.

When implementing your customer service plan, consider how your customer service works for each customer:

  • Personalizing your service makes your customers feel confident that you can resolve their issues
  • Making your customer service convenient means your customers can get assistance quickly and efficiently
  • Anticipating your customer needs ensures your customer service program is successful
Customer Service for Small Business
Source: Pexels

Your customer’s experience shapes how that customer views your business moving forward. This thinking applies to a brick-and-mortar business or an e-commerce business.

What Is the Most Important Quality in Your Customer Service?

The most important quality in your customer service isn’t only gaining customers but retaining them. Retaining customers is a very big part of customer service for small businesses since repeat customers are four times more likely to purchase products than new customers and spend more money on average.

The new customer is more likely to become a repeat customer after a good shopping experience. That customer recommends your business to friends and family, adding value to their patronage of your business over time.

What Are the Main Elements of Customer Service?

Customer service is ongoing and should happen in every part of your sales process, not only after your customer has an issue. Even with changing shopping landscapes, the way most people view their shopping experience remains the same.

Here are five important elements to include in your customer service program.

customer service icon
Source: Pixabay

Have a Cheerful Disposition

Often customers who are contracting a business with an issue might not be doing so in a good mood. It’s up to you, or your customer service associates to be kind and respectful to calm the customer and try and resolve the issue.

Remaining cheerful ― no matter the state of the customer ― is necessary to maintain your own composure. Some say patience and good acting skills are required for solid customer service.

Be Organized

Being good at customer service requires high organizational skills, no matter the medium of communication. You need to be able to access product information quickly or have knowledge of a product at a moment’s notice.

Be Adaptable

Being able to adjust to the needs of each new customer is extremely important. Again, dealing with different temperaments and issues. You might have to encounter a challenging customer service matter and then must handle another business matter or vice versa. You must have the time management skills to get through each case as promptly as you can and the emotional intelligence to not let others’ ill behavior get to you.

Be Good Listener

Many times, customers just want to feel like their issues are being heard and taken seriously. Taking the time out to listen to what they have said and using positive language, such as “I understand” or “I heard what you said,” can go a long way in giving a customer a good experience.

Often, a customer service strategy includes a script. You should consider using such affirming phrases in your script when communicating with customers.

Be Thorough

Keep in mind that customer service isn’t only problem solving, it’s also interacting with customers in a store to help them decide what product they want to purchase. It’s answering questions on your social media to make your audience feel like they’re associated with the brand.

It’s persuasion skills and closing ability on a sale. The next time a customer sees an ad for one of your products on one of their feeds, they’ll be more inclined to make a purchase.

Quick Tips for Implementing Customer Service Into Your Business

  • Do what other companies won’t: Large businesses might not put the time, care, or attention into their customer service. This is where a small business can excel.
  • Invest in customer service early: Being known for excellent customer service early in your business is a great way to set yourself apart from the competition.
  • Involve the whole company: Make customer support a part of your business and company culture.
  • Audit your strategy: Keep track of metrics like returns, exchanges, and complaints to see what you can improve.
  • Listen to your support team: If you have a team, consult them about their experiences dealing with customers and ask for ideas they have on improving your customer service strategy.

Quick Tips for Improving Your Customer Service

Improving Customer Service
Source: Trusted Reviews
  • Communicate realistically with your customers: Be upfront with your customers about problems on your end that might cause delays or other issues with your product or service.
  • Offer self-service content: Giving customers the option to handle their issues themselves goes a long way and relaxes and empowers them. Self-service tools often become a preferred method for customers who prefer handling their issues instead of waiting for a customer service rep.
  • Have learning workshops: You should involve your entire business in your customer service approach. As your strategy gets stronger you should host customer service workshops to acclimate the entire team to any new developments.
  • Update when necessary: Be honest about which customer service methods are working and which aren’t and be willing to make changes.

Conclusion

Developing a customer service strategy for a small business is an ongoing strategy that grows with a business. While it might be a challenge, its reward for a small business can be a stellar reputation and lots of loyal customers. It’s something worth taking the time to cultivate.

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