Delivering Exceptional Customer Service

As a small business, exceptional customer service is necessary. Providing excellent service is the only way to reduce returns and increase customer loyalty. A customer that is happy is going to keep coming back and, just as important, provide recommendations. Worth of mouth advertising is imperative to all businesses, but even more so, for small businesses. One complaint can quickly put your business into a tailspin. Therefore, it is crucial that your business formulates a plan on how to deliver exceptional customer service.

Make It Simple for Your Customers
Whether you have a retail business or an online business, the customer must find that both shopping and completing the transaction smooth. If they have trouble finding what they need or find the checkout process difficult, they will not return. In fact, if any part of the buying process becomes too difficult, they may not buy or may change their mind and return their purchase. Making it simple for your customers is instrumental in creating a successful business.

Make Resolving Complaints the Priority
Any complaint you receive from a company must be put as the priority. Whether the customer found the product to be unsatisfactory or they found themselves unhappy with their transaction, you must fix the problem immediately. By doing so, you will show the customer your business cares about their customers, and you may just find the customer turns into a positive marketing strategy for you. As stated above, word of mouth really is the best form of advertising.

Follow Up with Your Customers
A customer that makes a large purchase or hires the services of your business will find a follow up to be a positive sign of the company’s ongoing support system. Many customers often find a follow up from the company to be very beneficial as it allows them the opportunity to ask questions or voice any concerns they may have about the product or service. This follow up is a valuable marketing opportunity for your business.

Provide Employees the Proper Training
Nothing is worse than calling a company and the employee has no idea on how to handle your call. Your employees will appreciate training opportunities on both the products and the policies of your business. The training they receive will allow them to be able to do their jobs well and to represent your company in the best possible manner.

Empower Your Employees
It is also crucial that you empower your employees with the ability to resolve issues. If your company receives a complaint and the customer has to wait until management can be reached, you can be guaranteed that their level of frustration is increasing. By giving your employees the power to make decisions, whether it is authorizing a return, providing discounts, or giving away a free product, you are going to allow customer complaints to be resolved in a quicker manner.

Take Care of Your Employees
Happy customers equal the success of your business, and happy employees equal happy customers. It is a circle that, if complete, is going to make your business a top contender. Your employees, if provided with a decent wage, proper training, and good working environment, will enjoy their job and feel loyalty to your business. Offering incentives for work performance is a great way of showing that you care about your employees, and this strategy will prove effective.

Ongoing Evaluations
While you may believe that you have covered all the bases, your desire to provide exceptional customer service should never end here. It is also important to evaluate your customer service often. One method of doing this is by hiring secret shoppers to patronize your business. Secret shoppers will allow you a better perspective to the service your business provides to its customers and will allow you to continuously work on improving it.

According to the 2011 Customer Experience Impact Report conducted by Oracle, 73% of customers report that they make a commitment to the company or brand that has the friendliest and most helpful employees. By implementing some of the above strategies, you can quickly change the future of your business. When customers begin to see the results of your work, they will provide you with the best form of advertising possible by telling everyone about the quality customer service your company provides.

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SMBReviews is committed to providing small and mid-sized business owners with the information and resources they need to select the best service or product for their company.

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