Small businesses are more than capable of offering great customer service, even without having a big call center or multiple service agents on hand. For small businesses to be successful with a lean approach to customer service, there are three key strategies they should keep in mind.
The first is to meet customers where they are. That might be over the phone, over email, on business listing sites, or through social media. It’s important for small businesses to know which channels customers love to use — that way, they can reach them quickly and easily.
The second strategy is helping customers help themselves. A simple online help guide or FAQ page can answer the most commonly-asked questions that small business customers have. Not only does it save time for the customer; it also saves time for the business. In some cases, the best customer service interaction requires no interaction at all.
The last strategy is having plenty of context on your customers. Knowing who your customers are and what’s important to them is critical for making a support interaction feel personal — and for a great overall experience. In fact, a personal touch is often what makes folks want to do business with a small company — they want relationships, not just transactions.
Following those strategies means making sure your customer relationships are well-managed, which in turn drives great customer service. Customer relationship management, or CRM, is how small businesses can meet customers on their preferred channels, give them a space to help themselves, and capture important context. That’s the foundation for great customer service, outstanding customer experiences, and lasting customer relationships.