If you are a new start up, you want your business to stay afloat and grow. The most effective way to establish and expand a new business is to create a loyal customer following.
As a small business owner, you will be responsible for various aspects of the business, and customer service may not be your main priority. But the way you treat your customers can be an effective way of distinguishing your business from your competitors.
Take a look at our 4 guiding customer service principles below:
Make a great first impression
The first impression you make on a customer will dictate their subsequent perception of you. The best way to do this is through providing impeccable customer service. Start as you mean to go on by treating your customers with honesty and integrity from the get go. This can also be reflected when dealing with complaints. The way in which you handle and resolve the complaint will be the deciding factor in whether or not you keep the customer. And every customer counts. If you are able to keep the customer by providing great service, they might just become an ambassador for your brand.
The customer is key
In order to cater to and attract more customers, you need to know who your they are. Research and discover who needs and uses your product or service, understand your customer’s journey, and try and make it as smooth as possible. You want to reach a point where your customers trust your product and become loyal to your brand. But trust needs to be earned. If a customer has queries or complaints, they need to know that they can count on you to be available to resolve any issue. If you don’t have the time or staff to answer phone calls, think about investing in a telephone answering service.
Engage with your customers
It is important to keep in regular contact with your customers. If you have on-going clients, you can advise them of your progress and manage expectations. If you have a customer following, keep them engaged with social media, where you can tell them about promotions and company news, and get their feedback on what you’re doing well and where you can improve. If your customers are engaging directly with your staff, ensure they are properly trained. And don’t forget to show your appreciation by rewarding your best customers for their loyalty.
Adapt and evolve
If you want your business to grow, you need to be prepared to make some changes. Gather customer feedback in order to find out what’s working and what isn’t, then change in order to make your product or service as close to what your customer wants and needs as possible.
It is important that your company values and ethos are reflected in your customer service. If your customers are happy with your service, they will vocalise it to their family and friends, and that will add real credibility to the marketing you’re doing yourself.
Sara Parker blogs for Face for Business – providers of call answering services to UK start-ups and SMEs.