As a small business owner, you know how important customers are to the continuous growth and, indeed, survival of your business.
‘Customer is king’ is a cliché for a reason. A happy customer base provides leverage to a bigger base.
There’s a key difference between good and exceptional customer service:
- Good is doing enough to keep customers satisfied
- Exceptional is going above and beyond
Good customer service creates satisfied customers. Exceptional customer service creates loyal customers who become champions for your small business.
Bad customer service, of course, means you lose customers to your competition and develop a negative reputation.
Seven steps to exceptional customer service
Here’s how to deliver exceptional customer service:
- Set clearly defined customer service objectives. That way, customers will know what to expect from your business. You then need to exceed those expectations.
- Create service policies that have your customers’ best interests in mind.
- Try to resolve any complaints within one working day. Small complaints have a tendency to fester into bigger ones when put off.
- Let customer-facing staff take ownership of problems.
- Reduce the layers of bureaucracy customers have to wriggle through by empowering your employees to make customer service decisions.
- Re-confirm all details: miscommunications and mismatched expectations are responsible for most customer complaints.
- Make customer service marketing content your number one competitive advantage. For example, send welcome emails, monthly newsletters and birthday letters. These sorts of personal touches can go a long way.