It’s remarkable that today’s customers would want for anything. After all, we know more about them, they’re more spoiled for choice than ever and simply put, they have all the power. Yet despite all of this, customer service continues to be a huge sticking point for customers everywhere and it’s one place where small businesses like yours can really stand out from the crowd. Even if just you’re one of many faceless companies selling smartphone accessories, for example, you’re the one that people will flock to if your customer service game is really on point.
We have four small business tips to help you delight and amaze your customer base, winning them for life:
- Remember to thank them. As it turns out, politeness matters, and it really matters a lot. When retailers utilize “thank you” emails to follow-up transactions or to welcome new customers, they’ve found they achieve both superior open rates and click-through rates over regular marketing emails. Both email marketing firm Remarketly and Hubspot’s research determined that roughly 42 percent of customers open thank you emails, about double of other email types. Click-throughs are equally impressive, with a 14 percent rate in the Hubspot survey and 18.27 percent in the more recent Remarketly survey, as opposed to about six percent for standard emails. If saying “thank you” via email can be this powerful, imagine what some manners can do for your call centers and hold messaging, or even your website traffic!
- Ask for their opinions. Along with being polite, you should also be respectful. Ask your shoppers what they want, ask them how you’re doing. Sometimes you might not be as great as you think or there may be some part of your process that really needs attention. When your customers have a chance to rate your store or give you feedback, it’s the perfect opportunity to start very real two-way communication and build a successful relationship. Who knows, the opinions those customers share could easily help you make positive changes to your processes and improve your business as a whole.
- Use your data. There’s a reason data is the hottest topic in business since the telephone—it’s a perfect way to learn more about your customers than they could ever tell you themselves. You can determine their preferences, their needs and even predict what they’ll want in the future if you’re quick and clever with your data. This approach will require that you identify the most vital pieces of the puzzle, then follow them religiously. Whether that means identifying and subdividing particular markets and tracking their purchases until a pattern emerges or aggressively A/B testing to see which types of wording your customers prefer, you can learn just how to service your customers best from your data.
- Be faster, be better. So many small businesses try to go it alone, from their website design to content creation, order management and even fulfillment—and it turns out that they really can’t stretch that far. Figure out how to ask for help when you need it, and where you need it, in order to root out inefficiency and speed up your processes. Customers today are used to getting packages in a few days, so if you can’t fulfill their order in under 48 hours, you seriously risk losing business. Having a team that helps with logistics, fulfillment and other complicated tasks can free you up to generate more business and give your customers the best service anywhere.
Focusing on creating the best customer service experience available, whether you’re running a call center or simply trying to juggle a one man operation, is the key to real success. After all, without customers, you’d have no one to buy your products or use your services, so keeping them incredibly happy is the trick. Just remember that at the end of the day, your customers could be your neighbors, your friends, even your family, so treat them with respect, try to anticipate their needs and don’t stretch yourself too thin to help them when they really need you.