Customer service is essential for the survival of any business. This is even more true of small businesses and start-ups as loyal customer base is needed both to grow and to succeed. Economically speaking, you want your customers to return to your business again and again because it ensures that your business will continue to thrive. Building relationships is important in all aspects of life and your business should be no exception.
So what are the keys to great customer service? Although there is no official rule book, there are a few rules that have been proven to be very beneficial for businesses.
1) Be Available: Customers like it when they are noticed and love to have their questions answered. Don’t let the customer find you, but rather, you find the customer. When their presence is acknowledged, the customer will feel special and will be more likely to return based on the first interaction alone.
2) Be Receptive: The old saying “you can’t please everyone” rings true here. There are going to be some customers that are rude, condescending or both. There may be some that are courteous but still voice their opinions. Don’t take offense! Listening to your customers and gathering their input can only help you make your business better. For non-confrontational interactions, you could start an anonymous tip box so customers can voice their opinions in writing.
3) Be Proactive: Make sure that you always go that extra mile even if you are not making any money by doing so. This can resonate with the customer by showing that you are not just profit driven. In turn, the customer that you helped for free will be more likely to return. In addition, they will also probably tell a friend(s) about the great customer service they experienced at your business.
4) Be Involved: Get to know your customers on a personal level if possible. Customers love when they are recognized and when they are address on a first name basis. Take some interest in the customer’s life by asking questions and giving compliments. Getting involved with the customer’s life not only adds to your chance of receiving even more repeat customers, but it also leads to the chance of developing beneficial relationships for both parties down the road.