Today customers are becoming more and more difficult to deal with. They can change their opinion in a second based on one negative review. However, there is a number of small business owners who are able to constantly deliver superior customer service.
It is generally considered that customer experience is the same as customer service. But the aforementioned small business owners know that customer service is just a smaller part of the whole picture.
When we talk about customer experience and business things get much more complicated. It is basically everything that touches the customers while they are doing business with you.
For example, for traditional businesses like dentists, grocery stores, gas stations – customer experience is represented by how clean the facility is, the attitude and knowledge of the employees, the parking options and so on. On the other hand if you are into an ecommerce business, customer experience includes the website’s speed and ease of navigation, return policy, speed of delivery and so on.
In a recent interview where small business owners had to talk about what they are doing or not doing to make their customers happy, we got some interesting tips we’d like to share.
Always Pick Up The Phone
Here it is important to stop acting like a big company. It means you have the option to quickly and easily get in touch with your customers just by letting them know they can get in touch with you as fast as possible and get exactly what they want. There is no need to force them through phone trees. It is considered a bad customer experience.
Don’t Forget To Build Relationships
Small business should avoid using chatbots like bigger companies. Take this advantage and build a personal relationship with your customers. Open communication and making the customers eager to engage in the business is the key point of the success of the mentioned small business owners. Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth. What you really want here is to have lots of loyal customers who really want you to succeed.
Customer Experience Is Important
These businesses who are more into customer’s experience know that they need to adjust to customer’s needs. By making your customers aware that they are respected and valued they become loyal to the company and can help you beat your competition not because ow lower prices, but because they are treated better.
A good example is the idea of a massage spa manager who found a way to attract more women who are in the prone to hot flashes in the post-menopausal phase. Instead of the traditional heating pads, he started offering the cooling pads. Basically, for the same price he offered something special to this group of customers. The word of mouth automatically generated more business.
Hire Someone Who is Good With Customers
When you decide to hire someone who is perfect for the job based on their skills and knowledge, don’t forget to check how he or she interacts with customers.
A good example is one retailer’s idea to hire several people who he knew personally to work part-time instead of hiring someone he didn’t know full-time. As a result, the company grew its culture because they shared their customer focus.
Work on your customer’s feedback system
It is difficult to adjust to your customer’s feedback if there isn’t any feedback at all. That’s why you have to make getting feedback from your customers to be your main goal.
For example, if you have different employees interacting with different customers make sure they are sharing the customer’s feedback. Having no feedback can create a false image that everything is just fine. According to James Longman, it’s always better to get negative feedback which will help you fix some things for the future.
Social Media is Your Friend
When we talk about social media at the beginning everyone wanted to have a huge fan base. However, this is not the case today. It’s more important to have an active fan base.
For example, some realtors connect with their customers on Facebook. When the customers post pictures or videos, they comment and like their posts and this is one of the ways they stay in touch.
You don’t what to hear “but”
One thing you definitely don’t want to hear is the word “but” while your customers are describing their experience. “They are very good, but…” It doesn’t sound that good, right?
If you plan to offer a superior customer experience, don’t expect to do it over night. It takes time to shape it and adjust it. So, instead of focusing to avoid negative feedback, focus on improving your customer’s experience.
If you are a small business owner, you have the ability to take control of your operations and engage with your customers in order to achieve the ultimate goal – creating a superb customer experience. Take advantage of this opportunity.