With the growing customer service expectations, when people have access to various resources and can get in touch with brands online, having a strong customer support strategy is a must for small businesses.
To keep your customers happy and satisfied, providing outstanding customer support is vital. Why? Recent research shows that 86% of people agree that good customer service turns one-time clients into long-term brand advocates, 93% of clients are ready to buy again from brands who offer excellent customer service, and 3 in 5 people claim that customer service is vital for them to be loyal toward a company.
Also, customer service aims at providing direct communication with customers which should be important for all companies. As a small business, it can be daunting to implement customer support strategies your larger competitors have.
Typical Customer Service Problems for Small Businesses
Providing excellent customer support isn’t easy for brands of all sizes and niches. But when it comes to small businesses, there are three typical customer service problems most of them face:
- A limited budget to use various customer support channels: Modern people have high demands for customer service. Most of them crave omnichannel customer service, but it’s nearly impossible for small businesses to use a big number of communication channels and maintain a presence on all of them.
- A lack of customer support representatives: For small businesses, it can be hard to hire a big number of customer support reps who could monitor various platforms and communicate with customers. A lack of customer support reps can also negatively affect customer service response time which means decreasing customer satisfaction.
- Poor customer service training: Just a few small businesses invest in customer service training and it brings negative results. Look: more often than not, people who seek out customer service have problems or concerns with your company. In other words, these customers are dissatisfied with your product or company, so having bad-trained customer support staff can ruin your brand reputation.
It’s harsh but true: small businesses have various customer service problems. But with the right tips on providing customer support for small businesses, you can bring your business to the next level.
- Focus on One Customer Support Channel
Today, people are busy and they have a short attention span of 8 seconds. As a result, customers expect brands to be active on different communication platforms so that they could get in touch with your company immediately and solve their concerns and problems on a selected channel.
There is a big number of customer service channels and all of them are popular among people as they have different preferences when it comes to communication.
But it’s nearly impossible for small businesses to use different customer service channels and provide high-quality support. It’s better to focus on one channel and improve your customer service strategy.
Looking for one customer support channel for your small business, make it a call center. When people get customer service via phone, they can get their questions answered fast as they can get instant replies from customer service reps.
To WOW your customers without sacrificing the quality of your customer support, think about implementing an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that gives an opportunity to collect caller data and redirect calls to the dedicated team member with the help of automation and speech recognition.
- Hire a Freelance Customer Service Rep
Operating a customer support team requires knowledge, time, and effort. For small businesses with a limited budget and a great number of tasks to handle, it is time-consuming to manage a customer service team. Simply put, having an in-house team of customer service representatives isn’t a good choice for small businesses.
At the same time, there’s a big number of freelancing websites that allow companies to find experienced professionals in the niche and hire freelancers who are ready to handle customer inquiries for your company. To find the right candidate, you can check out freelance marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr, People per Hour, etc.
- Create Canned Responses
It’s no secret that people value time. When they turn to customer support representatives, they also expect to get a prompt response. For small businesses with a limited number of customer support reps, it can take time to check out all inquiries, find out solutions, and provide replies.
The solution is here: create canned responses, one of the latest customer service trends. When you create answers to frequently asked questions and your team has the ability to copy & paste those answers, it gives an opportunity to provide quick answers to common questions your customers may ask.
Here is several canned response examples your small business can use:
- Encourage Customer Feedback
Understanding your customers can give your small business a clue to their needs, wants, and problems.
When you collect customer feedback, you gather valuable information and insights that help to provide proactive customer support when you can predict customer inquiries and solve these problems before they even occur.
However, most customers believe that companies don’t bother about their thoughts so they are reluctant to send customer feedback. If you rarely receive customer feedback, you need to encourage it with different tactics like offering something valuable in exchange: discounts, free shipping, brand freebies, demos, etc.
Whether you like it or not, providing outstanding customer support for small businesses is crucial, so it’s important to find out actionable tips to make this process easier and faster for your customer service representatives. Moreover, there are many ways to optimize your customer support process and keep your customers satisfied.