27 Feb Customer Service for Small business owners; A Starting Point
Learning how to deliver superb small business customer service can be challenging. Using the right tools can help you build the right team, WOW your customers , and maximize opportunities to boost your small business.
Perfect service can be a challenge at any stage in business. Have you defined this for yourself and your team, what does this look like? The word “perfect” is defined differently, whether you are just starting a business, or you are an established small business owner who’s working to get your customer service right as you juggle all the tasks involved in running your business.
I constantly get asked “how have you created a happy environment” and it starts with the top and moves down. It starts with educating your clients; I like to say “Potty Train Your Brain.” Driving the experience by telling your clients what they can expect from you is key. For example, we share with our clients:
-Outline all meetings so they always know the next time we are meeting
-Share google doc and that is where notes go (this cuts our emails WAY down daily)
-Schedule all phone calls-don’t just call-we need to be prepared
-Please do not text unless it’s an emergency-we have a process-that works
If you already have a small business, here are some tools you can use to tackle challenges that may be holding you back from reaching a higher level of growth and success.
AMAZING Customer Service Is What Makes Up a Business
Identify a Procedure
Identify the basics for running your business with amazing customer service, like key works, phrases used in marketing; create a positive culture in short.
Customer service determines how consumers choose who they want to work with; according to SCORE, a volunteer organization of business professionals helping small business owners. SCORE was the first organization I reached out to as a new business owner. My mentor was SO helpful. And with the power of social media, best customer service practices are essential. A business can be taken down without a procedure.
If you are searching for someone to model after; take a look at these top companies named by Forbes:
Furthermore, think of the brands you love and why you love them!
Identify The Right Tools
There are SO many tools available, try a few as most platforms have a trial. What works for me, may not work for you. It is essential to create a paperless process. Using a CRM system to track everything will make or break you, at least in my experience.
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system provides you with the reports you need to monitor your customer service, but it also can help you organize and streamline other aspects of your business, such as operations and marketing. It helps you manage your customer relationships by letting you store and analyze data about your customers, create customized reports, and send custom emails. A CRM also lets you slice and dice data so you can analyze patterns and trends. We have tried several. Planning Pod, Salesforce, and landed on InfusionSoft. Some call it ConfusionSoft; it is overwhelming, but has a lot of plug ins and opportunities. In determining the cost, look at the ROI instead of looking at it as a monthly cost.
Looking at chat software such as LiveChat or SnapEngage is a great way to elevate your customer service. In today’s world, customers expect instant gratification.
Make sure customers, at minimum, can reach you on at least one social media platform. Social media is not just a place to post about your company, but a way to connect with your potential clients.
Invest in training
Training yourself and your team members to see things from the customer’s point of view is a crucial early step toward creating a culture of customer service. Training can help you nix simple mistakes and turn your team into customer service standouts.
Hire the Right People
Invest in people. Start by recognizing that your team members have strengths and focusing there are help you build a whole company. Whole meaning balance. This will drive a company culture that is positive.
As I turn the page to begin the next chapter in my life, from doing weddings and events full time, scaling back to part time to free up time to focus on education and co-founding Nashville’s first co-working space designed for women, with creativepreneur Kathy Thomas. Collective615 is a welcoming community that empowers members who desire to connect, collaborate, and grow. So, how exactly do you create a customer focused environment? Share with us!
Photo Credit: Kathy Thomas Photography