Customer Service Tips to Grow Your Small Business

Customer Service Tips

Editors Note:  This article was updated on September 23, 2020, originally published on April 16, 2019, and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Customer service is a popular topic of discussion among savvy business leaders and managers with good reason. Customer service is your company’s lifeblood. It’s at the center of everything you do, and it’s the key to growing your business.

How critical is customer service to growth?

The online newspaper Huffspot published a list of 50 statistics that show how important customer service is to companies. The statistics provide some eye-opening insights.

The money spent attracting new business comes directly from your company’s profits. Providing good customer service boosts your bottom line and grows your company drastically.

Providing epic customer service is a challenge—a challenge you must conquer to thrive in the future. Below we discuss strategies you can implement to boost business growth driven by customer service. Our article discusses:

  • Critical challenges to growing a small business  
  • Practical tips that can help you beat these challenges
  • Key customer support metrics you need to track
  • Eleven proven tips to supercharge customer service

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Six Challenges to Growing a Small Business

Some managers treat new businesses as a threat, which they are not. It’s an opportunity you must exploit to grow your company. Below are six critical challenges you must conquer to take your business to the next level:

  • Cash flow management — This obstacle is the second most common reason businesses go bust, says research from CBInsights. To grow your business, investment is needed, but you don’t have to go bankrupt doing it. Instead, you can boost cash flow by enhancing customer service, increasing loyal customers, in turn, driving repeat business, and resulting in more profit.
  • Threats from the competition — Business is about competing. One way to beat competitors is to differentiate yourself with superior customer service. That also helps expand your business by highlighting your unique value proposition to new and past customers.
  • Creating a customer-oriented culture — Creating a customer-oriented culture in your business is paramount.  One way to develop that kind of culture is to let customer service values guide all your decisions. Making customer service your company’s top value drives employees to communicate that priority to buyers.
  • Solving problems promptly — Involving yourself in every customer’s problem is neither practical nor productive. Empowering your agents to solve problems, on the other hand, is both practical and scalable. It helps customers without having to wait for you to make decisions.
  • Dealing with constant change — Nothing Is certain but change—in life and business. Change can block growth if not handled correctly. Training your customer support team to deal with change adroitly can help them anticipate and eliminate difficult customer service issues. Also, by training your team, they will know how to manage unhappy customers as well. 
  • Deciding when to abandon a strategy —Failures are part of the business. Train yourself to recognize the segment that is failing. When it happens, don’t fault your entire strategy. Once you’ve decided to abandon a specific segment, transfer resources to other areas quickly, boost revenues, and increase corporate growth.

Growing Business Scale

Delivering top-flight customer service can help you beat all six of these business challenges. Doing so is among the secrets to growing your business and thriving in the future.

Six Customer Support Metrics to Track

Providing exceptional customer support is the number one task when you own a business. Customers that aren’t satisfied with your service broadcast their dissatisfaction and also bolt to a competitor. That’s especially true for today’s more demanding customers.

Below are six KPI’s you can use to measure customer support:

  • Overall satisfaction — Customer surveys are the best way to measure this. Send them out regularly to get customers’ feedback, and they will tell you how things are going.  
  • Customer retention — This KPI measures customers’ “stickiness.” If you satisfy customers, they’ll come back again and again. They’ll also tell their friends and family about your products and services.
  • Net promoter score — Customers tell potential customers when they find companies that provide exceptional customer service. The higher the score, the better the results of your business.
  • Conversion rate — This metric tells you how quickly prospects are becoming customers. If it’s high, you’re providing epic customer service, but you need to address the issue if it’s low.  
  • Average resolution time —This KPI gauges how quickly your customer service team helps customers. Customers want issues resolved quickly.
  • Active customer issues — This KPI tells you if there’s a bottleneck in customer support. If the number is high, your team may need retraining, or your product may need tweaking.  

Keep these KPIs in mind when measuring customer support. Together, they’ll tell you how good your customer service skills are. They’ll help you know what your customers think of your customer service and how long they’ll stick around.

Metrics to Track

11 Customer Service Tips to Boost Growth

Even if KPI’s say your customer service is excellent, you can always improve it. Hiring a live telephone answering service is a cost-effective way to provide a professional voice answering your call 24/7/365. This tactic delivers superior customer service, builds loyalty, and triggers company growth.

Below are eleven proven customer service tips designed to help you boost business growth:

  1. Let dissatisfied customers guide you.

Customers complain. When you receive complaints from customers, get as many details from them as possible. Let their feedback guide future actions.

  1. Listen. Listen. Listen.

When you hear your customer, you are not necessarily listening to them and their problems. Practice active listening to get to know the customers and their needs. Meeting them is paramount to boosting customer service, building your brand’s reputation, and sparking business growth.

  1. Respond quickly and accurately.

Fast response times are crucial in some industries. If it’s vital in yours, train your people to respond promptly, but accurately.  

  1. Be human, not a machine.

Technology can help companies provide excellent customer service, like with the help of chatbots. No matter how efficient technology is, customers still like dealing with people. Give a personal touch to customers by using live agents.

Training Customer Support Team

  1. Turn customers into brand ambassadors.

Use tracking technology and a top CRM to learn about your customers and get to know them personally. Surprise them with customer notes or special product offers. This helps turn customers into brand ambassadors.

  1. Make customers paramount.

Never let business matters subvert customer service. You must find a solution to your customer’s problem. Going the extra mile leaves customers satisfied and delighted by uncommon customer service.

  1. Build brand awareness.

Excellent customer service should pair with strategies to position yourself as an industry authority. Knowledgebase articles, technology tips, service updates, special offers, and product tricks keep customers happy, satisfied, and loyal.

  1. Always offer customers choices.

Offering customers a choice is critical. Providing three or more solutions to an issue makes them feel involved. It’s a smart and cost-effective way to boost a buyer’s impression of your customer service.

  1. Treat all customers like VIP.

Savvy companies treat all customers like VIPs. Making customers feel that way builds customer loyalty and boosts word-of-mouth advertising.

  1. Send personalized messages.

Automatic onboarding sequences work, but personalizing onboarding drives excellent customer service, especially with emails and special offers. 

  1. Communicate with your customers.

Communicating with customers in this century means not just on the phone but on social media, online reviews, and mail. As a business, social media is vital. Social media gives your business direct access to your customers. If you get reviews on business directories or social media, be sure to respond. 

82% of people search for online reviews of local businesses

Always have in mind that 82% of people search for online reviews of local businesses, according to research from BrightLocal.

And last but not least, always avoid directing your customers to voicemail. The more accessible and human you are, the more brand loyalty you’ll build

Implementing some or all of the tips can help you provide the customer service that meets your customers’ needs. Doing so generates numerous business benefits, including boosting customer satisfaction, enhancing brand value, and increasing word of mouth advertising. To make your business grow, you will need to apply these tips on customer service.  After all, customer service is your company’s lifeblood.

Keep Clients With Improved Customer Service Experience

Customer experience is essential for your business to grow. Outsourcing your customer service to provide a more professional service will help you improve communication with your customers at a lower cost. You need to ensure that you’re offering an excellent customer service experience to everyone you come into contact with. 

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