The online market has vastly grown and has become more competitive than ever. This poses a major challenge for small businesses that must compete against large companies and well-developed enterprises. Fortunately, the battle to win over consumers doesn’t solely fall on product and service quality or quantity. As a matter of fact, online consumers aren’t only looking to do business with companies that can provide them with necessary products or services, but with companies that can make the entire experience memorable and valuable.
That’s where customer service comes into play. Delivering exceptional customer service and support can allow even SMBs to compete against industry giants. The ability to serve customers and provide them with outstanding service can help any business grow and develop further. Nowadays, consumers have specific needs and expectations. SMBs that manage to meet those needs and expectations are able to not just win over consumers, but also retain them and ensure their loyalty. That being said, here are a few ways to deliver an exceptional customer service as an SMB.
Listen to your customers
The first step towards delivering exceptional customer service is to listen what your customers have to say. As mentioned before, consumers these days have needs, demands and expectations. They are vocal about them most of the time, which makes it easy to identify consumer needs, but only if you’re willing to listen. In the digital world, listening to consumers doesn’t involve face-to-face interactions all the time.
However, you can still communicate with customers via phone, live chat, social media, etc. and actively listen to them. Improving your efforts based on what you heard from customers generates appreciation, as customers become aware that you’re actually listening to them. This effort helps build trust, satisfaction and engagement in consumers, while also helping you provide them with excellent customer service.
Ask for feedback
Listening is quite effective, but you must also be proactive when it comes to determining your customer’s needs. Make time to take an initiative and ask your customers for feedback. You can design surveys or questionnaires and hand them to your customers over email, social media and so on. Consumers prefer businesses that make the first step towards serving customer needs.
Your customers will appreciate the effort you’re making to make their experience with your small business an exceptional one. In addition, your customers will be generally more satisfied and engaged to see how you improve upon their feedback. Information is crucial in the online world and every piece of information you obtain from customers will help you deliver an exceptional service.
Leverage modern technology
Today, customers don’t only focus on how you serve them, but also on what you use to serve them. Modern technology defines market trends and consumers like following trends. As an SMB, you may not have the resources or means to leverage the most advanced technology on the market for customers service. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t leverage any technology at all.
For example, chatbots can be an excellent addition to your customer service efforts. They require an investment to develop, but their artificial intelligence capabilities can allow them to serve multiple customers simultaneously 24/7. Make sure you have a strong, stable Internet connection and communication equipment you can rely on. You can also partner up with companies, such as Orange to further boost customer service and care. Being up to date with the trends your customers are following will allow your SMB to remain relevant and ahead of your competition.
Hire the right team
It’s no secret that you cannot handle every customer on your own, even if your SMB’s consumer base isn’t as large as those of Fortune 500 companies. That means that you’ll need to hire a team of employees who will help with the customer service and support. It’s very important to hire the right employees for the job and educate them further on how you serve customers.
In short, you’ll need employees with good people skills. That way, you’ll have customer service representatives who know how to communicate with customers, as well as know how to address and solve a specific problem or issue. Good employees with good training can vastly improve the entire customer experience and ensure that your customers are satisfied and engaged.
Customer experience and support are vital factors for business success. Without a way to provide a seamless customer experience, your SMB will only lose customers regardless of your product or service quality. On the other hand, being able to provide an exceptional customer service can help your small business outrun even the well-developed competitors on the market and ensure your company’s success.