Attention Small Business Owners, Customer Service is Crucial

Sometimes in the rush to build a great company that offers remarkable products and services, business owners forget one critical element of all great organizations, Customer Service. Having an outstanding Customer Service department could be the difference between keeping customers and losing customers or between having one-time customers and loyal followers.

Creating a Customer Service policy is a great first step. It can be situation-based. Write down all of the possible situations you can think of where customers will need the help of your Customer Service team. Then figure out the best possible way to solve each situation. Be sure to coach your employees on this. With this being said, I think it’s absolutely critical that you empower your employees by allowing them to stray from the policy when they feel it’s appropriate.

The overall message should be, “keep our customers happy”. If a customer comes to one of your employees with an issue, but doesn’t like your policy for handling their issue, then allow your employee to improvise however they see fit, as long as it’s going to keep that customer happy and not impact other customers or your business too much. By keeping your customers happy at all costs, you’ll turn frustrated customers into loyal followers. Those individuals are invaluable as they will tell many members of their network about how great your company is because you successfully solved their issue.

As your business grows, so too will customer service issues. Make sure your policy is fluid and constantly updated. Check-in with you employees quarterly or monthly to see if there were any unusual customer service issues that they were able to solve. Based on the feedback, update your policy accordingly in case that same, or a similar, issue comes up in the future.

Have you had any Customer Service mishaps with any businesses that have left you feeling either more loyal to that business OR totally turned off by it? Please share your feedback with our readers so that they can see just what types of issues arise and how they were handled. I think those real world scenarios will help all of us when drafting our Customer Service Policy.

Happy New Year!

12 Comments

  1. Taking the identifying all scenarios that may happen, have the employees act them out. There is no better teacher than going through a customer service experience from the other side of the phone/counter. More is learned watching looking in than looking out.

    Great reminder!

  2. Suzanna – Thanks for taking time to read the blog AND post a comment. You’re absolutely correct, thanks for sharing that great tip. Happy New Year!

  3. Hey man your new blog/website looks nice…and simple too.

    Customer Service has long been considered a marketing opportunity and I think you are accurate to suggest that this is often overlooked by small businesses. But that is probably due to the time/cost required to treat it as such. After all, marketing costs time and/or money.

    We use a ticketing system for email support which has some branding elements in it which is a big reason we use it. We especially use this to report all of our deliverables each month which is primarily for “marketing” purposes because it keeps the work we do consolidated and in the front lines. For sales-related emails we use our CRM which gives us more consistency with headers and footers for branding. These are basic 101 methods I think and unlike other marketing efforts we do not measure their effectiveness in any way.

  4. Ryan – I really appreciate you taking the time to read the blog and comment on our post. I’m glad to hear you like the new website design!

  5. Ryan – I think that customer service is THE most important aspect to any business, small or large. And it’s certainly lacking these days. If you want to have a successful business, you have to keep the customers happy and find a reasonable way to resolve all issues. Thanks for the reminder to this and good luck with bringing these things to the forefront. I, for one, really appreciate your honesty here.

    Mary

  6. Mary –

    Thanks so much for taking time to read the post AND for posting a comment. I really appreciate it. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

    I agree that Customer Service is so critical in business today. We have more choices for products and services than ever before in the history of Capitalism. If my company treats a customer poorly, she will go find another e-marketing agency to help with her marketing objectives. It’s that simple.

    Thanks again and Happy New Year,

    Ryan

  7. I totally agree with you. I am in a service industry and I have to teach my teachers that whatever it takes to keep the customer happy, just do it! Sometimes it’s not exactly our philosophy, but we want to make sure our customers continue to LOVE us year after year. We have to adapt to whatever the situation is at the time.

  8. Deborah – Thanks so much for taking time to read the post AND post a comment. I really appreciate it. You’re exactly right in that sometimes making a customer happy takes stepping outside of your policies, but in the end, it makes the world of difference if you do. Customers will really appreciate the act, especially if they know that you’re going above and beyond to solve their issue.

    Happy New year.

  9. I completely agree with your article. In this fast paced world we live in I think it’s extremely important to provide customer service. All to often you’re treated like a number on an automated phone system. Being in the sales industry for over 17 years my number one approach to a sale was to start by providing excellent customer service, resulting in returning customers who trust your company and your services. Also a great resource for referals. Your customer is the most important part of your business, without them where would your business be?

  10. Sandy – I completely agree. Thanks for taking time to read the article and post a response. I really appreciate it. You’re so right when you say ‘where would we be without our customers’.

  11. Ofcoures customer service is crucial because when you’re in the beggining you must get as much positive feedback.

  12. Jocuri -

    You’re absolutely right. I would even venture to say that positive feedback is always good, no matter where your business in its life cycle. Even negative feedback can be extremely helpful to small business owners who use it to evolve their offering to better suit customer needs.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I’m glad you found the article informative.

    Best,

    Ryan

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