November 15, 2019

Maintaining Great Customer Service In Your Small Business

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Keeping your customers satisfied should be such an easy thing.

It is generally expected by everyone that a business should be able to provide excellent customer service at all times. It seems so basic to people looking in from the outside.

But, if you’re the one running the business you know it’s not always very easy.

Let’s say for example that you have a small business start-up that curates specific customized products. Getting the customer’s requests can be a very time consuming and labor-intensive process.

Depending on the extend of your services  you may have to be in continuous communication with your customers and the conversation will go back and forth for several months.

As a business owner continuing to devote the time and dedication to each client and always provide excellent service should be your number one priority, but when I talk to my entrepreneur peers sometimes this is a big stressor for them.

Once you have provided this exceptional service/product over and over again, word will get out and before you know it you will be swamped with work. Suddenly it can become extremely overwhelming trying to keep up with all of the different conversations that you will be having with new customers and you never want to let your services and customer experience suffer. 

You will be failing your existing customers if you spread yourself too thin because of the growing demands of your business, which is why it is important to have a stable plan for implementing great customer service in your business. 

Maintaining Great Customer Service In Your Small Business

Tips for Maintaining Great Customer Service In Your Small Business

 

Manage Customer Expectations

 

When it comes to dealing with customers, one of the best ways to avoid disappointment is to manage their expectations of what you are able to do for them.

You need to be honest with them about the resources, skills, and experience that you have on offer.

It’s important to remember, that you may have to limit the amount of customers you take on until you can begin to outsource and expand.

Your customers may be disappointed if they cannot get what they want from you right now, but they will be even more frustrated and angry if they believe that they are going to get something from you, and you cannot deliver after giving them the impression you could. 

Honesty and transparency is how I have always been with my clients for my photography business. I am straight forward with my deliverables and the timeframe they will receive them. I over communicate the information about all of the details and process for working with me.

 

Carefully Manage The Speed That You Grow

 

By slowly opening yourself up to more work as your infrastructure increases, you will find that you are better able to meet the demands of your business.

It may be that after a while you can afford to take on a part-time member of staff, soon you can grow this to full-time and then gradually build up a workforce. 

I talked about how I began outsourcing for the blog once it became too much for me to manage all by myself in this recent blog post. 

 

Keep In Contact With Your Customers

 

People want and need to know that they have been heard and that what they’re requesting is going to be dealt with.

If you are finding that you are getting more calls than you can handle, and you are unable to get on with the other elements of your business, then you will need to invest in a business answering service. By using another company to handle all of your inbound calls, they will be able to take messages and give basic information that your customers need. 

 

Having a service such as this is much better than unplugging your phones to get some peace and quiet from the constant demands of your customers as people calling up will feel as though they will have got a response. 

 

Create A Ticket System 

 

All businesses need a workflow system to organize tasks and projects. Having a ticket system will help you to prioritize and stay on top of all of your communication. When a message comes in via email it may well go into a never-ending stack of messages and get lost.

Your customers do not want to feel as though their emails or social media messages are getting ignored, so having systems in place that take these messages and order them for you in a system that you can track and manage will help you immensely. When new messages come in on any of your platforms, they too will join the ticketing queue and there will be no danger of them getting missed or forgotten about. 

Using a system will help you manage your reply rates by setting targets and monitoring your performance. Having analytics that you can delve into will help you understand where you are succeeding, and where you have work to do. They can be a great tool for managing, incentivizing, and motivating your team too!

I use Evernote and a simple hand-written to-do list to keep all of my ducks in a row for deadlines, errands, orders, and emails that need to go out. I create my calendar every week with my goals and expectations and I check them off as I complete them. 

 

Looking back, I’m truly proud to see how far I’ve come! I’m keeping my nose to the grind and am so excited for what the future holds! Thanks so much for being a part of this incredible journey! Anything I can help you with today?

 

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