Arguably, the most important aspect of running a business is customer service. After all, how can you grow a successful business if you don’t have happy customers standing behind you?
Even if you’re aware of the importance of customer satisfaction, it can be challenging to practice what you preach. This is especially true if your business is new, or you have a small team. However, you should make customer service a priority, and one way to do this is to identify mistakes you’re making.
In this post, we’ll cover the most common service issues that small business owners face and provide tips on how you can improve. So, ask yourself: “am I making these 5 customer service mistakes?”
1. You Ignore Customer Feedback:
Even if you strive to fix customer service issues, it doesn’t matter if you don’t try to avoid the same problems in the future. For example, if you own a restaurant and get consistent complaints about how long the wait times are, you should implement a reservation booking tool.
By fixing poor customer experiences, you’ll be more likely to earn repeat customers. To stay organized and keep track of frequent complaints, use a CRM tool, or ask your customer support team to log them. This way, you can take customer feedback into account, and fix these issues moving forward.
2. Your Support Team Takes Too Long to Respond
When customers have a question or concern, they expect a prompt response. In fact, 64 percent of customers prefer to make purchases from companies that can get back to them in real-time.
Unfortunately, with a small team, it can be hard to juggle numerous customer inquiries. There’s only so many hours in the day, and you might not have enough manpower to respond to your clients. However, it’s important to invest in this area. We suggest hiring more customer service employees, invest in automated chat support bots for your website, and ensure that social media inquiries get faster responses.
3. You Aren’t Respectful Towards Customers
It can be difficult to keep your cool when a customer is saying negative things about your business (especially if you think they are wrong). Still, it’s crucial that you remain calm, respectful, and courteous. If customers feel like you’re defensive or don’t care about their problems, they’ll probably take their business elsewhere.
When responding to customers, start by thanking them for their business. Then, ask them to explain their issue – and listen! Most likely, they’ll appreciate that you’re taking the time to hear them out.
Once you understand what their problem is, outline how you’ll take steps to fix it. If a product or service didn’t meet their expectations, give them a refund or replace their purchase. Or, if they received poor service, apologize and explain how you’ll be better in the future. People want to see actions, so make sure to show them you’re prepared to right your wrongs!
4. You Don’t Train Your Employees
The quality of your customer service team reflects positively (or negatively) on your business. If they are friendly and helpful, people will view your business favorably. In comparison, if they are rude or aren’t knowledgeable about your business, this sets the expectation that the customer can’t trust your company.
To ensure that your employees are well-trained, make sure that each person completes thorough customer service courses. This training should teach them how to form customer relationships, handle conflict, and answer commonly asked questions. Once they undergo this training, they should be ready to assist your client base!
5. You Don’t Monitor Online Reviews and Messages
It can be easy to forget about online channels when conducting customer service, but you should be making digital customer service an integral part of your strategy.
Your customer service team should monitor online customer reviews and social media messages and respond as soon as possible. If messages are left unread or don’t receive a response, this will make customers think that you don’t care about them.
Conclusion: Make Customer Success a Priority!
Now that you’re aware of these common customer service mistakes, it’s time to get to work! Your customers are the backbone of your business, and they deserve the best. Show them that you value them and appreciated their business by adopting the suggestions in this post. Before you know it, you’ll be earning repeat customers that (hopefully) recommend your company to their family and friends!
Author bio: Katie Alteri is the content marketing coordinator at Fora Financial, a company that provides small business loans to companies across the U.S. Fora Financial is active on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.