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Customer service: how do you start off on the right foot?


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As a small business owner, you have an exciting opportunity to personalize the customer experience, like answering promptly or following up on solutions provided, in a way that big companies don’t. You could also have a detailed FAQ page to address commonly asked questions, or maybe a generous return/exchange policy. Having an action plan for every avenue of communication, or potential scenario, from the beginning can help you make sure your customers feel happy and supported. Great customer service can lead to repeat business and referrals!

How have you set yourself up for success in providing quality support to your customers? What tools do you use on or in conjunction with your website? What scenarios did you think through? Which policies have come in handy?

Share your customer service tips in the comments below!

 

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I'm a big fan of using a CRM tool. I just moved from Dubsado to HoneyBook and it's been amazing. Most things are automated on my end, which saves me time. And the client sees a cohesive branded experience and isn't waiting on me for certain steps.

Just one example, after they pay their deposit they are automatically prompted to answer a questionnaire and set up a strategy call.

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I like to take on a mindset of these three concepts: Expectations, Transparency, and Overdelivering.­

Setting expectations with your clients means clearly describing the normal course of doing business with you. What does your processes look like? Timeframes? What is inside and outside of scope? What is expected of your client? What will delay delivery of a successful outcome? Communicating expectations allows you to exceed expectations.

Transparency is being open and honest with processes, pricing, and the limits of your services. Communicate often. Own up to mistakes immediately and address them. Be open about potential conflicts or differences of opinion with your client. They will thank you for your honesty and will likely be happy to find a win-win solution.

Overdelivering is another key that will set you apart. Again, clearly communicate outcomes, and don’t over promise, even if you have the best intensions. Always provide something extra: Beat a deadline, provide extra copywriting or images. Add an extra set of revisions.

It might be expensive or time consuming to prevent an unexpected problem. But if you wait for a problem to happen, the costs are dramatically higher, and could even cost you a customer. Use these concepts and add them to your strategy. This will compliment what @christyprice recommends: automate processes, and remove yourself as a bottleneck.

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I have found using a live chat is a great way to connect with your customers. There are so many things I have learned just by chatting with my customers. Most of them are very nice and tend to give you useful information if you ask them😊

The tool I use for live chat is Helpcrunch.

- Rasmus Myhrberg, Maker of Spark

Spark plugin – Get superpowers in Squarespace with 100+ presets

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  • 1 month later...

I like to think of customer service as an extension of marketing. If you're able to tailor a phenomenal experience for your consumers and customers–it gives you an advantage over your competitors, and it can potentially create a sense of loyalty from your market that could bring forth the power of 'word-of-mouth' marketing; you basically have an army of satisfied customers doing the marketing for you. As much as we'd like to believe that we're not that easily persuaded by marketing tactics, how many times have you actually eaten at a restaurant because one acquaintance, family member, or close friend recommended it to you? See what I mean?

Looking at customer service in this perspective, you should have the slightest notion of one thing: it's something that you should definitely invest on. If you're an SME and are relatively new to the scene, the main thing I recommend you do is sourcing out a piece of customer service software that you can use so that when you get and train someone onboard to handle that side of things, it wouldn't be that technical. Plus, most CSR software is not really that expensive, its just a matter of choosing which fits you best.

Make sure that whoever you have onboard, knows the core of your brand's identity and will reflect it in the way he/she handles disputes and issues. Remember, CSR can be a form of marketing–and we all know how much bad word-of-mouth can severely affect your business' reputation, even if it's not a viral complain on social media.

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  • 2 months later...

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