What Your Customer Service Advertises About Your Small Business

Customer Service

The way you treat your customers can advertise a lot about your business and facilitate word of mouth. Often, it’s your customer service strategy that keeps people coming back and spreading the word about your business. So, what do you want your customer service to say about you?

You’re a Good Listener

Customers appreciate you taking an interest in what they have to say, good or bad. It’s vital to your customer service strategy to use outlets like customer satisfaction surveys, social mentions, review sites, and even your employees to learn what customers are saying about your business. Take feedback seriously and if the complaint is legitimate, respond in a timely manner, whether it’s online or offline. But what’s just as critical as dealing with grievances is learning from your mistakes, so you can improve customer service at every touch point. Once you start addressing the root of customer critiques – and not just responding to them – you’ll be amazed how the conversation about your business turns in your favor.

You Care about Your Customers

The truth is that consumers want to know there’s a relatable person running your business and that you’re invested in making their transactions as pleasant as possible. So it’s critical to make an effort to treat your customers like you would treat your friends. One vital step is always having a friendly greeting for customers who call or visit your store and making sure your employees do the same. In addition, reach out to your customers personally, such as by following up with them after a service call or recent purchase. Sending a personalized email or post card or making a phone call can be just the thing to elicit repeat business, a great review, or even a referral.

You Focus on Your Employees

Sometimes the best customer service comes from your employees. Just look at Southwest Airlines: their customer service philosophy revolves around making sure their company culture is fun, empowering, and promotes a great employee attitude. But you can’t always rely on your employees to deliver great customer service unless you give them the right tools to do so. Arm your staff with the right training and clear policies to ensure they have all the skills they need to assist your customers. Teach them how to greet customers in person and on the phone, handle service issues, and deal with angry customers. Provide incentives for excellent service and monitor your employees regularly; even if you have the right policies in place, employees can often be the weak link in your customer service.

You’re Socially Accessible

It’s no secret that social media has become the ultimate vehicle for spreading the word about a company’s customer service. It’s important to be available to your customers on social media in order to develop relationships with them. That’s why small businesses should be shifting strategies toward a social customer service model, which means using social media sites to connect with customers, discover operational issues, and resolve problems before they escalate. By being more accessible to customers where they are already spending their time, you can promote a great reputation and encourage them to spread the word online about your business.

As you already know, customer service is extremely powerful. By delivering outstanding service, you can compel your customers to talk about you socially, facilitating word of mouth and even reducing the need for traditional advertising.

So what outstanding examples of customer service have you seen? Share them with us in the comments section.

Tamara Weintraub

Tamara is a content marketing manager at ReachLocal with over 7 years experience in B2B marketing and has a nerd-level affinity for software and technology. She specializes in helping local businesses succeed online, writing and learning about Google, search advertising, SEO, and social media marketing. When she's not writing about online marketing, you can find her watching cult TV and hanging out with her Doberman.

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