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Tips to improve customer service at your small business

Small businesses must rely on their customers in order to keep their doors open. Most small businesses have few resources to fall back on if the sales at their business dip. This makes keeping your customers happy and coming back crucial for the long term survival of your small business. The best way to do that is to offer the very best in customer service. Savvy small business owners will make customer service their top priority. Keep in mind that studies have clearly shown that customers will return to a business to shop again simply because of the level of customer service they received. This is true whether or not the business offers the lowest price on the item they are shopping for. Here are some tips to improve customer service at your small business-

- Get to know your customers-You will not be able to offer the highest levels of customer service without getting to know your customers. Keep in mind that you will need to go far beyond a simple "hello" and "thank you". You will want to watch your customers to observe their shopping habits and what they are really looking for. Remember that you want your small business to be the one that provides that for them. You should also train your staff to make sure that your customer's needs are being met. If your employees have to always get someone else to resolve customers service issues your customers will soon become frustrated and move on to someone else. The bottom line is that you want to establish the type of relationship with your customers that lets them know that you are there for them to answer questions, resolve concerns, and provide them with what they are really looking for.
- Show them why it's worth it shop with you-Consumers have never had more demands on their time and money as they do now. This means that in order to improve the customer service at your small business you will need to be able to show your customers why it's worth it to shop with you. Answering phone calls, emails, and even questions directly from customers shows them that you care about what concerns them and you respect their time. When you can take care of your customers in a meaningful way that respects their time and money they will continue to come back and shop with you again.
- Make the most of every customer experience-Successful small business owners understand that they only have a limited time with each of their customers. This means that you need to make the most of every customer experience. If you approach your customers with an apathetic attitude even once they may decide to terminate their business with you and go to your competition. You need to show your customers that their business is appreciated and wanted each and every time they shop with you.
- Train your employees to provide the best customer service-It may not matter how much you want to provide the best in customer service if your staff doesn't fall through with it as well. You will need to make sure that all of your employees are trained to understand that providing customer service is their top priority. Keep in mind that this training need to be ongoing for both new employees and to keep it fresh in everyone's mind. It is important that small business owners are very selective about who they hire since one bad customer service experience can lose you a valuable customer. Finally, make sure that all of your employees know how important customer service is by watching the degree of customer service that you offer personally.

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