Small businesses rely heavily on customer loyalty, perhaps more so than major well-known brands, so at a time when competition is fiercer than ever and consumers have so many choices on where to spend their hard earned dollars, great customer service is a must. Not sure where to start? Here are some top customer service tips for small businesses:
Consider offering a client reward or discount for frequent users of your service or for referrals. You are aiming to build brand loyalty, so think about an appropriate level of reward. Thoughtful promotional marketing products not only convey your appreciation, they also serve a branding and marketing purpose. Got a referral through one of your clients? Even if it is just a gift voucher accompanied by a note to say thank you, a little detail like this can go a long way.
Ensure that your staff members are onboard
This means everyone from office staff to even the cleaning personnel, because good customer service starts from the minute someone takes a call or answers an email. From that point on, your staff member becomes the representative of your organisation, so ensure that you invest in quality customer service training that covers dealing with people over the telephone as well as face-to-face.
Don’t forget to make sure that your website and emails are regularly checked, and that you have a quick response time to all enquiries. Implement a code of conduct throughout your business to ensure quality and consistency, and keep checking to ensure that you are delivering at a high standard.
Make sure that your website or brochures are up to date, and that there are no “hidden extras” or “small print” that compromises the fairness and transparency of your pricing policy. When undertaking a job, make sure that your staff know that punctuality is key unless there is an unavoidable delay, and keep your customers informed at all times.
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”
Staff members should always be smart and presentable. Ensure that your team knows how to address clients at all times, whether online, on the telephone or face-to-face. If there are complaints or feedback, your team needs to be equipped to address them quickly and efficiently. All communications, including emails, should be handled with professionalism and in a businesslike manner.
Understand the client’s needs
Where possible, offer personalised service according to the client’s needs. Tailor your services so that each client feels like they are getting individual attention, not just a templated response or package. Also, don’t forget to ensure that you make it as easy as possible for your clients to leave feedback, whether it is through a social media platform or as part of the follow-up. Show your clients that you care about communicating with them, and you will have them coming back for more.
We at Melbourne Property Stylists, have been developing our furniture rental and property styling business utilising these methods and can first-hand attest to their effectiveness. We trust that they will serve your business to develop and build great relationships with customers and clients too!