Great customer service is important to the success of your small business and should be at the heart of your marketing strategies if you want to build customer loyalty and grow your clientele.

As a small business, the bulk of your sales revenue will likely come from repeat customers, referrals and word of mouth, meaning you can’t afford to slack on quality customer service. A large company might be able to get away with bad customer service because of the resources at its disposal – but for a small business, bad customer service can be fatal..

Here are five common customer service mistakes to avoid:

Being hard to contact

Make it easy for customers to contact you, whether by phone or email. Your contact details should be prominently displayed on your website.

Not answering the phone

When customers do call, your small business needs to answer. At the very least, staff should phone back customers within two business hours.

Taking too long to respond to emails

When someone sends an email, your small business should respond within 24 business hours. Otherwise, customers will take their business elsewhere. No one should have to wait too long before getting answers to their question or problem. You can outsource email follow-up or implement an automated help-desk system.

Not training your staff

Your staff should not only have a helpful attitude, but should actually know how to help customers. That’s why every small business should invest time and money in training their staff. 

Not asking for feedback

If you don’t ask your customers what they think of your small business, they probably won’t tell you. And if they don’t tell you, you won’t know what is and isn’t working. Anonymous surveys and feedback cards are a good way to find out what your customers are thinking.

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