Who wears the customer service hat in your business? It’s an important question because every company, whether big or small, needs a solid customer service plan.
A small business can grow big based on great customer service. Don’t believe me? Then let me prove it to you. Let’s look at the differences in small business versus big business customer service.
The big guys.
There are serious problems often associated with the larger companies and customer service. Call a big business with a complaint and you’ll rarely get a satisfactory resolution. In fact, you might hang up before you even reach a human because of all the hoops you have to jump through in their automated system. You often experience frustration and figure it’s not worth your time and effort and hang up.
Customers lose interest in a company fast if they don’t get their problems or complaints taken care of efficiently. A small business owner can offer personalized complaint resolution in a timely manner.
The fine print.
Larger companies usually have policies in place to protect the company – the fine print you didn’t read when you made your purchase.
The small business owner tends to offer 100% money back guarantees, standing by the product or service, and more often than not, delivers above and beyond your expectations to ensure your satisfaction and build customer loyalty.
Do unto others.
There will be times when you might lose a customer based on his or her dissatisfaction, but don’t let it cause you to harm your reputation with knee jerk, defensive reactions. Always be polite because even though you didn’t meet their needs, they could recommend someone to you in the future whose needs you will meet.
Customer service is meant to support your customer when they have questions or problems. When you address them as a person (not a case number) they’re more likely to come back and do business with you again. And that’s the point! It’s much more cost efficient to keep a customer than to gain a new one – everytime.
Here’s where the small business owner has the advantage. Their business focus is on their customers and getting them to return time and again. Larger companies have the luxury of seeing an influx of new customers every day, so they’re sometimes not as concerned with keeping the existing ones happy.
Take advantage of your small business status and GO BIG on customer service — or it could be the one thing holding you back from achieving the kind of growth in your company that you want.
All that being said, I have one final note to add. You can do everything to please a disgruntled customer and still have them spread bad news about you. It’s unfortunate, but true. The bigger your small business becomes, the more likely you are to run into this. Try not to take it personally. You simply will never be able to please all of the people all of the time.
How do you handle customer service for your business? How far would you go to make things right for an unhappy customer? Do you think the customer is ALWAYS right?