Owning a small business can be part of the “American dream” for some. Owning your own business can be exciting, adventurous and stressful. How successful your business becomes depends in large part to what kind of customer service you provide. If you are in a competitive industry, you will always want to stand out against your competition. This means providing your clients with customer service that stands out above the rest.
Good customer service means keeping customers happy
Providing quality customer service will not only keep your existing clients happy but will hopefully generate more business for you through client referrals and recommendations. Did you know that on average twice as many people will tell their family members and friends about a negative customer service experience versus a positive one? More than half of consumers will back out of a transaction completely if they experience poor or substandard customer service and a fourth of those customers will most likely share their experience on a social media website like Facebook or Twitter. While you can’t please all the people all of the time, you can certainly do your best to avoid having people give you and your business a bad review because of less than adequate customer service.
Whether you are new in the small business world or have been running your own show for several years, knowing ahead of time how to deal with your clients or customers will not only help keep them loyal but will strengthen your chances of gaining new business. Consider the following five top causes of customer irritations:
Rudeness- Have you ever heard of the saying “The customer is always right?”. You may think that is a saying of the past but it still holds true these days. You never want to be rude, short, or impolite; even if your customer isn’t being all that nice.
Tardiness- Always be on time! This shows that you value your customers as well as their time. If you say you are going to be somewhere at a certain time, then make sure you are exactly that. One missed or late appointment could cost you a new or existing client.
Deception- Have integrity when doing business with people and deliver on your promises. Explain to the customer what you will be doing when providing your services. Often times, consumers will not hesitate to leave a service provider if they feel they have been deceived.
Incompetence- Are you there for your customers and able to perform the services you advertise and/or promise? If a customer has to call you several times to reach you or is having repeated problems with the services you have provided, you can bet they won’t be calling you in the future or giving out your name to their friends and family. A customer should never have a difficult time reaching you or hearing back from you nor should they have to wait a long time for you to deliver your services.
- Inflexibility- If you aren’t willing to bend on a warranty, policy, or return, you will most likely frustrate a customer who is trying to find a resolution to their problem. Be sure to listen to the customer’s complaint/concern and be flexible when it comes to solving the problem. While you don’t want to be walked over, you want to find a compromise for the sake of making your customer happy. Now that’s good customer service!