Every small business knows that customer service is an utterly essential part of their business. However many small businesses and business owners don’t do some of the most blindingly obvious things to make sure that their customer service doesn’t fall down at the first hurdle.
You have to make sure that you deliver an amazing service to everyone; that it’s consistent and deliver at every contact point with your customer. When a certain pizza company says it will deliver a pizza within 30 minutes or it’s free. When they deliver it early and you still have to pay are you disappointed or do you think great, they delivered it early ?
One of the biggest points of feedback about a website is “Where’s the phone number?” You should always try to make sure that your phone number is prominent on every page. You MUST then make sure that your phone is answered by a human at all times that your customers will call you. It’s probably OK for a small business to offer a machine at 3am, but during normal working hours if someone gets through to a machine, half of people won’t leave a message and will just call someone else instead.
If you are out and about your really should consider using a professional telephone answering service to take the call for you. it’s so much cheaper than hiring full-time staff and the extra enquiries that you take will more than pay for their service.
Consider this also for when your phone lines are busy. What kind of message does it convey to a caller if they just get a busy tone. Will they call back? Unlikely!
If you have a contact form on your website, make sure that it send you the information from the form and that it also sends an emails to the customer to say that someone will be in touch shortly.
If you use generic email accounts for your business, they should also send an auto-reply. So sending an email to sales@, info@ or support@ should let someone know that their email has been received and will be acted upon shortly.
Whatever you do in your business, communication with your customers is the most vital thing you can ever get right.