When it comes to your bottom line, two simple statistics sum up the power of excellent customer service:
- People will pay up to 17% more to work with a company that has excellent customer service.
- Fifty-six percent of people have stopped working with an organization because of poor customer service.
Of course, as a small business, you often do more with less. These tips for better customer service on a budget can really make a difference.
Update your documentation
Do people ask specific questions about your products or services again and again? Are you making changes to your products? Consider adding your FAQs and product updates to your website. Keep the page current by removing out-of-date policies and discontinued products. Be sure you’re getting all the important information out there. Email customers or make a social media post asking what people want to know about your brand. Reward those who participate with budget-friendly customer giveaways like a plant kit or a screwdriver.
Ask customers for feedback
Feedback—positive or negative—offers something critical: A chance to improve. What’s more, 77% of customers think of a company more favorably if it requests feedback. There are many ways to ask for input, such as:
- Include a comment card with prepaid postage with every package you ship. You can also give out cards at the checkout of your store.
- Including a survey link in every follow-up email you send to customers.
- Including polls in your social media accounts.
- Giving your best customers a call to ask what went well (and what you can do better).
Make it easy to get in touch
When problems occur, customers will always want their issues handled quickly and efficiently. Also consider that 80% of customers have said they prefer to talk to a person rather than an automated system. Make it easy to get in touch through a phone number, email address or chat function that’s available during business hours—or better yet, 24/7/365.
Take your customer service outbound
Much of customer service is reactive—a customer comes in or calls, requests assistance and your staff members leap into action to make it happen. Instead of letting your customers come to you, try reaching out instead. Call them after a major purchase to see if they need any assistance or fixes. Surprise customers by sending a free gift, like a measuring spoon or a bandage dispenser, just to say hi.
Taking budget-conscious care
Best-in-class customer service will not only help you hold onto customers, it will give them a reason to recommend your brand to others. As you put these tips for better customer service into practice, you’ll be building a customer base for a successful future.