10 Customer Service Tips for Small Business Owners & Entrepreneurs
10 Customer Service Tips for Small Business Owners…
- The customer IS always right. Say it with me, THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT! You know it, they know it. When a customer is wrong, it is your job as the expert to correct them in a manner that allows them to be right. This is very hard for a lot of people. Humility will get you a lot further than lording your expertise over someone who may not know they are wrong. So how do you handle an unsatisfied customer?
- LISTEN. Not with the intent to respond to them, genuinely listen. If you’re thinking about what you’re going to say to them, you’re not listening and may miss important information that may lead to future problems down the road. Take notes if you have to.
- EMPATHIZE with their situation. You have been precisely where they are at least once in your life. Can you imagine how annoying it is for someone who thinks the person who is there to help them does not comprehend their frustration? Don’t dwell on the negativity with them. Simply tell them you can see their point of view and will work with them to resolve the issue.
- UNDERSTAND their needs, spoken and unspoken. Address their immediate concerns and cover potential issues that could arise. Prepare them for worst case scenario and relieve their anxiety by empowering them with ways to navigate those concerns.
- If you receive a customer who is irate, enraged, is ready for a fight and is yelling, you need to shift the conversation to a more productive tone ASAP. Diffuse their angst. Bring them to the light. Show them the way. Use the force. Don’t yell or raise your voice. In this situation you cannot fight fire with fire. As soon as they break a moment for air, ask a question. This gives room for them to think about their answer and give you space to assure them you will solve the problem.
- TAKE OWNERSHIP of the situation as soon as possible. Do not allow the customer to feel like you are not the person they should be speaking to. Speak with confidence.
- Admit when you do not know the answer to a question they have asked of you. Your confidence will not take a hit if you are HONEST about your commitment to find the solution and give a realistic time frame to when you will have the correct answer for them.
- CREATE an F.A.Q. Page! You may have been asked the same question 3,000 times and it is old news to you, but the person asking… this is likely their 1st time ever thinking about it. Tone is a big deal to most people. They will sense you’re annoyed and lose interest in pursuing their inquiry further. FYI: FAQ pages are not customer service substitutes.
- If you must redirect your clients and customers to the information they are looking for, do so while still answering their question. Don’t ignore the question. It’s rude. Help them find the answers.
- Realize no matter what business you are in, you are operating a people’s business. You need people. Treat EVERYONE with respect. If you’re an introvert and get nervous about social interactions, team up with someone who isn’t. Your customers are the people who build your business. They are the people who will keep you in business so don’t lose them over lack of proper communication.
Do you have any more tips to add to this list? Please leave them in the comments.