Archive for April 28th, 2011

10 Important Customer Service Tips

April 28th, 2011

As a small business owner, it is important to make an effort to not only please your customers, but to treat them very well. Customer service is an important part of a business. By making your customers feel valued, they will continue to use your services. And in that respect, customer service is a vital component to your marketing effort. It may well be the most significant factor in increasing sales to your existing customers, as well as being able to reach the potential customers that they know. Consider these tips to improve the customer’s experience with your small business:

1. Establish a Rapport
Every customer wants to know that you value them, so you need to consider the relationship that you have with them. By maintaining a good relationship, your client will feel like you truly care about them, and will want to continue doing business with you. This is very important small business advice.

2. Make Personal Phone Calls
Whenever possible, make personal phone calls to your customers. If your customer hears your voice, they will feel like your company really cares. In a world where email and other quick forms of communication are popular, you can make your small business stand out by making personal phone calls in addition to your usual communication methods.

3. Distribute a Newsletter
By creating a newsletter, you can keep your customers informed about your company and its happenings. People love when businesses stay in touch and update them on news and industry events and such. There are several good, easy to use and inexpensive products available that you can use to generate an effective e-newsletter. I use Constant Contact for my monthly newsletter, The Small Biz Bulletin.

4. Acknowledge Holidays and Birthdays
If you really want to set yourself apart from the crowd, make sure to acknowledge birthdays, holidays and other special events. Customers want to know that they have not been forgotten. This is a great way to make the day of your customers. This will help keep your customers coming back and will continue to bring you a profit. 

5. Break Your Own Rules Occasionally
There is not always just one way to do something. By breaking your rules occasionally, you may learn that you have kept a customer that may have otherwise left. It is important to make decisions based on each issue that is presented to you. This will enable you to keep your customers happy. 

6. Let Your Employees Make Customer Service Decisions
Teach your employees how to show respect to your clients. Trust in your employees and their customer service decisions. By doing this, your employees will continue to recognize the value of keeping customers happy. 

7. Offer Gift Certificates
If your customer is happy with your company and its services, chances are they will be likely to recommend your small business to friends and family. By offering gift certificates, you are making it easy to share your company and a way for other people to learn about your business and its many offerings. 

8. Give Back to Your Community
It is important to show support for your community. Small businesses are often supported by their surrounding communities. By showing that you care, and by giving back to your community, you will show customers that you, like them, care about things other than just your business. 

9. Create a Network
Reach out to other small businesses. Learn and share information from other businesses in your industry. There is always more to learn about your field, and by creating a network with other businesses, you will not only learn more, but your business will continue to grow. 

10. Spy on Yourself
Consider having mystery shoppers visit your store. This will teach you what is working and what is not. What you learn will be important for improving on all the various aspects of your business. 

These small business tips will help you continue to improve customer service. In a world where small business owners are constantly competing with corporations and big businesses, customer service helps you stand out from the crowd. Customers appreciate working with small businesses that care.