10 Customer Services Tips to Grow Your Small Business

Customer Service Tips

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

How critical is customer service to growth? Critical. Below are a set of statistics taken from thinkJar’s CEO Vala Afshar’s article in the Huffington Post indicate just how crucial customer service is to companies. The statistics provide some eye-opening insights:

The last statistic is among the most telling. The money spent attracting new business comes directly from your company’s profits. Put another way, providing epic customer service not only boosts your bottom line but also grows your company dramatically, taking it to a new level.

But providing epic customer service is a challenge—a challenge you must conquer to thrive into the future. Below we discuss strategies you can implement to boost business growth with help from 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
  • Ten proven tips to supercharge customer service

Six Challenges to Growing a Small Business

Some managers treat new business as a threat. It’s 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. Obviously, you must spend money to grow. But you don’t have to go bust doing it. Instead, you can boost cash flow by enhancing customer service, increasing customer loyalty, repeat business, and corporate profits.
  • Threats from the competition — Business is about competing. One way to beat competitors is to differentiate yourself with outstanding superior customer service. That not only separates you from competitors but 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 problem is neither practical nor productive. Empowering your agents to solve problems, on the other hand, is both practical and productive. It helps customers without having to wait for you to make decisions. Customers hate to be kept waiting.
  • Dealing with constant change — Nothing’s certain but change—in life and business. Change can block growth if not handled correctly. Training your employees to deal with change adroitly can help them anticipate and eliminate difficult customer service issues. 
  • Deciding when to abandon a strategy —Failures is part of the business. So you need to train yourself to recognize channel failure when it occurs and not blame failure on your strategy. Once you’ve decided to abandon a channel, transfer resources to other areas quickly, which boost revenues and increase corporate growth.

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 surviving and thriving in the future.

Six Customer Support Metrics to Track

Providing exceptional customer support is job one when you own a business. Why—because customers that aren’t satisfied with your service not only broadcast their dissatisfaction they also bolt to a competitor, which results in churn. That’s especially true for today’s more demanding customers.

Below are some additional stats from Afshar’s Huffington Post article that provide some keen insights on churn and its impact on your business:

The importance of CX

What these stats show is that If you don’t provide customers what they want when they want it, they’ll bolt. But how do you know when your customer service rocks.  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 so customers can 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.
  • Net promoter score — Customers tell potential customers when they find companies that provide exceptional customer service. The higher the score, the better.
  • Conversion rate — This metric tells you how often customers interact with you. If it’s high, you’re providing epic customer service. If it’s low, you need to address the issue.  
  • Average resolution time —This KPI gauges it how quickly your help customers. Customers want to resolve issues quickly.
  • Active customer issues — This KPI tells you there’s a bottleneck in customer support. If it’s 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 support is overall. Plus, they’ll help you gauge what your customers think of your customer service and how long they’ll stick around.

10 Customer Service Tips to Boost Growth

Even if KPI’s say your customer service is excellent, you can always improve it. Bringing in a live telephone answering service, for example, 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 ten proven customer service tips designed to help you boost business growth:

1. Let dissatisfied customers guide you

Customers complain. When they do, get as many details from them as possible. Let their feedback guide future actions—especially when the feedback rings true. This tactic builds customer loyalty.

2. Listen. Listen. Listen

Hearing isn’t always listening. So, listen carefully to what customers say their needs are. Meeting them is paramount to boosting customer service, building your brand’s reputation, and sparking business growth.

3. Respond quickly and accurately

Fast response times are crucial in some industries. If it’s crucial in yours, train your people to respond promptly but accurately.  Research shows that more than 40% of customers confirm that they have received the wrong answer.

4. Be human, not a machine

There’s a lot of talk about how AI can help companies provide excellent customer service, like with the help chatbots. No matter how efficient technology is, customers still like dealing with people. Use live agents in positions where customers say they want them.

5. Turn customers into brand ambassadors

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

6. Make customers paramount

Never let business matters subvert customer service. If a product breaks, don’t blame customers. Instead, find a solution to their problem. Going the extra mile leaves customers satisfied and delighted by epic customer service.

7. Build brand awareness

Great 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.

8. 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.

9. Treat all customers like VIP

Savvy companies treat all customers like VIPs. That makes them feel special and that you care about them. Making customers feel that way builds customer loyalty and boosts word-of-mouth advertising.

10. Send personalized messages

Automatic onboarding sequences work. But personalizing onboarding drives excellent customer service—especially with emails and special offers. Personalized emails, research shows, have 29% higher open rates and 41% higher click rates. Plus, they deliver six times more transaction rates.

Implementing some or all of the tips provided above can help you provide the kind of 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. More important, it drives business growth. After all, customer service is your company’s lifeblood.