Most small businesses tend to lose their foothold hold in the market, or even fail to gain one at all, owing to common customer service fails. They tend to forget that unlike large companies, they don’t have the sufficient resources to build major branding and marketing campaigns.
For a small business, excellent customer service is a prerequisite for growth and consequently success. Unfortunately, not all businesses know exactly what customer service entails. This sees them taint their reputation in the market, losing popularity with clients. Consequently, seeing as it is small business build their foundation on repeat and loyal clients, this sees them lose out altogether.
5 Common Customer Service Fails to Avoid
1. Lack of communication
Great customer service entails responding to the different and specific needs of different clients. To allow clients to express their needs and/or feelings about your products and services, you have to be easily reachable on all your business’ platforms, both in person and especially online.
As such, make sure you display your different contacts clearly on all your business’ platforms to make it easy for clients to contact you. For general feedback and queries, make sure to set up a contact form. This is the easiest way for customers to directly reach out. The diversity in the communication channels makes it convenient for different customers with different preferences.
2. Failure to enquire feedback
While setting up the relevant platforms is crucial to getting the necessary feedback to use in modeling your customer service, most of the clients may not be willing to reach out. This stems from a reputation of failure to respond to queries by most of the small businesses.
As such, you need to encourage your clients to reach out with their pressing queries or comments. Not many small business owners realize this, making it one of the 5 common customer service fails. To do this, you need to reach out to your clients both directly and indirectly. You can for instance issue surveys and forms both online and in person for the clients to fill. You can also encourage opening and bonding by issuing gifts like coupons to loyal customers.
While doing this, ensure that you maintain the clients’ anonymity so as not to intrude on their privacy. This will make them feel confident and secure, the first step to allowing them open up. Also, make it known that you are ready to respond to give them surety when reaching out.
3. Slow response
As said earlier, most small businesses have a reputation for slow response to clients’ queries. Others on the other hand don’t care to respond at all. This makes the clients lose confidence in them. Worse still, it goes further to irritate and anger other clients and customers, eliciting negative remarks from them. Considering the strong network of different clients and customers, this may put your whole business at jeopardy, seeing you lose more clients than one. Furthermore, your services and products will be unappealing to potential clients.
As such, make sure to frequently check out the customers’ queries and feedbacks. To make this easy, you can automate the receiving platform to avail them immediately they are received automatically to your emails or messages. If you are pressed for time, you can set up an automated help desk system to respond virtually to common customer queries.
4. Incompetence and failure from the staff
While you may certainly do your best to ensure excellent customer service, your team of staff may not care much about it. Still, they are sure to interact with different clients in one way or another, and incompetence on their part will go on to affect your reputation and appearance also. For most small businesses, this is usually one of the most common customer service fails.
As such, to ensure you don’t make the same mistake, it is important to train your staff about courtesy and customer service ethics in addition to equipping them with the necessary working skills and knowledge. This will help them understand different clients and customers better and hence respond accordingly. It is also important that you emphasize on dedication to ensure fast response to different clients’ needs. Patience also should be a virtue to consider as most customers tend to reach out with complaints, and this needs patience and more so understanding to deal with.
5. Ignoring the power of the phone
The online platform does in deed come with many advantages and conveniences when it comes to communication. Sending an email for instance takes a very short time and costs close to nothing. To this end, most small business websites don’t avail telephone numbers to their clients. Instead, they tend to offer other platforms like emailing and social media.
However, word of mouth is and always has been the best way to communicate. It facilitates the expression of so much more, beyond ideas, comments and complaints. It allows the clients to express their feelings and emotions. It is also the best and fastest way to reach out, and this allows clients feel that they have indeed been served.
As such, set up an open line dedicated for clients only. This line should preferably be open throughout as different clients may reach out at any time. Also, ensure that there is always a person to respond to the clients’ complaints and queries when they call. This will help build their confidence in your customer care services. The service provider should also exercise all the necessary etiquette to enhance the satisfaction of the clients. You may also set up a virtue responder to respond to all the common complaints. However, if you decide to do this, ensure that responder is tailored to respond to the complaints common and unique to your small business. This will see you dodge one of the most common and most costly mistake.
To build a strong foundation for your business’ growth and success, you will need the support of loyal and new clients as well. To retain clients and attract more, you will need to provide excellent customer services. As such, ensure you avoid these 5 common customer service fails for easier and stronger networking.