How small businesses can improve customer service

Here are some tips on increasing the level of care for your customers' experience.

Even small businesses can end up spending thousands of pounds a month on marketing their company. Yet, at the same time, their customer service remains an afterthought. In an age of social media, though, where customers can easily share their feelings with everybody else on the planet at the tap of a finger, positive word of mouth could be your most powerful marketing tool.

Improving customer relationships

There’s an age-old saying that goes, ‘The customer is always right’. Now, whether you believe this is true or not, one thing that’s for certain is you should definitely abide by the sentiment. You can do this by offering increased levels of support, such as a 24/7 helpline or a live chat facility. For customers, there’s nothing worse than having to schedule their day around a company’s working hours. If you work late and miss the window of opportunity, it just adds to the frustration.

Similarly, a live chat option removes a large part of the barrier for entry in contacting customer support. Conversations via email are typically slow and research has shown that communicating over the phone is the least popular option for consumers. Meanwhile, live chat combines the best of both approaches and allows you get to the answer you need quickly.

Related: Top tips for improving your customer service

Amending the services you offer

Ultimately, though, what will define your business is the services you offer. After all, no matter how good your customer satisfaction rates are, if you can’t offer a shopper what they want they’re going to have to look elsewhere to find it. Start by reaching out via social media through surveys to see what kind of products or service your audience would like to see. Promo codes are great incentives for customers to actually complete the survey.

One final way you can improve customer satisfaction rates is by offering revised shipping solutions. Research has shown that customers are more likely to make a purchase when free shipping is included, though this seems largely a psychological factor as many businesses simply increase the price of their goods to compensate. You could also do this by offering free shipping on orders over a certain threshold, which may help to encourage further spending.

Often times, improving customer satisfaction simply revolves around listening to your customers. Unsurprisingly, the people using your products and services are the best people to ask about how you can improve them so don’t be a stranger.

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