All businesses thrive on the happiness of their customers, but small businesses rely on this even more. Large businesses experience less of an impact from poor reviews than a small business will. This is due to the staying power that comes with hefty financial backing and a large customer base.
For example, if a business has 5000 customers and 20 of them are unhappy, it is not a large impact. If a company with 100 customers loses 20, then it has lost 20 percent of its income. Here are some customer service goals that small companies can strive for to reduce the numbers of customers lost to bad goods or services.
Treat All Customers with Respect
When customers call in, they don’t want to feel like a bother. Instead, they want to feel as if their complaints are welcome and encouraged. A polite customer service representative on the other end of the phone is key to this. All customer service professionals should be encouraged to treat customers with utmost respect, even under strenuous circumstances. You cannot stress this enough to your representatives.
Be Easily Accessible to Customers
Next to respect from customer service, accessibility to customer service is critical. Some companies make it hard to get in contact with a member of customer service. For example, some only offer an email address or a mailing address. This can be discouraging for customers who do not want to contact customer service via this method.
Conversely, the opposite can be true for people who do not want to call in. Implement multiple avenues for contact. Long wait times or repeated transfer among representatives can discourage your customers as well. Encourage your representatives to be more efficient.
Provide Timely Follow-Up to Customer Complaints or Concerns
Every comment that is left or letter sent will not necessarily need a reply. However, for the ones that do, your follow up should be timely. An unspoken industry standard is to contact a customer within 48 business hours or two business days. The longer customers wait, the more they feel they are being ignored and the madder they can become. Quick turnaround response times prevent this.
Post your response time on the customer service section of your website, on an automated message, or through live interaction to let your customers know what to expect and to give your representatives a time guideline for their responses.
Address All Concerns as Thoroughly as Possible
Not every customer will be happy with the resolution you provide. However, striving to address all complaints with the idea to solve the problem as completely as possible is the goal. This means addressing the specific concerns mentioned, asking about other concerns, and encouraging the customer to contact customer service again should any new concerns arise.
Understand that Not All Complaints Can be Satisfied
While all the other goals are centered on satisfying the customer and remedying his or her complaint, this one is a reminder that it will not always be possible. Your team should strive for excellence and 100 percent satisfaction, but remember that in reality, it is not always possible. Remind them that they shouldn’t become discouraged if they are unable to meet a customer’s demands.
Unhappy customers are a part of the business. You cannot please everyone all of the time, but it is important to try. Your company can lose business as a result of poor customer service. Your goal should not be to eliminate all complaints but instead to minimize the number of complaints and to handle each one as efficiently as possible. With these customer service goals in mind, you can create satisfied customers and helpful employees.