Internet has made business operations easy and at the same time extremely difficult too. While you have better access to target markets, your customers have similar access to your prospects. Just one dissatisfied customer can negatively influence hundreds of other people online. Poor customer service can mar your company’s growth and can even bring your business down permanently. So, if your customers are not happy with your service (and they might not tell you directly about it) – then you have a thing or two to worry about.
Here are some numbers that reinforce the importance of good service: A study by RightNow Technologies shows that 73% of customers leave because of poor customer service, while the Rockefeller Corporation shows that 68% of customers leave because they think that you do not care about them. Nearly 70% of those polled in the Small Business Administration (SBA) study indicated that the perception of a non-caring staffer led customers to leave and buy from other businesses.
So, what now? How do you ensure that your customer service is perfect?
First, you have to identify all your customer touch points.
Simply put – all the physical places/virtual places where your customers or prospects come in contact with your brand or your people. This includes your office, receptionist, sales people, marketing people, website, social media, consumer forums, and so on. Small business owners and start-ups don’t have many staff members to cover all the touch points and might need external help.
You primarily need three types of customer services:
Physical staff that interacts with the client directly:
You must ensure that all your small business employees are trained about customer service and ways to show that they care.
Phone support provided through receptionist and customer support staff:
Your small business might not have the luxury to afford this in-house. You can take advantage of virtual receptionist services and virtual customer support services to make sure that you are available for your customers with a professional attitude 24×7.
Online support and proactive monitoring to rectify customer issues:
What happens on your website is well under your control. Reduce your website’s bounce rates and increase conversion rates by offering live-chat support. But, many conversations on the web happen away from your website, so it would be a good idea to hire a virtual social media manager to continuously track your brand online and steer negative comments into positive ones.
The good news is that nearly 95% of customers who complain will continue to do business with you if the complaint is handled quickly and to their satisfaction. Providing exceptional customer service makes happier customers who are easier to deal with, making your job more enjoyable.