Common small business challenges

 

As companies become increasingly conversation-focused, it only makes sense that they’d develop outlooks that center around the customer experience from start to finish.

Unfortunately, many small- to medium-sized businesses struggle with customer service issues, ultimately stifling their true earning potential.

No matter how great your product or service is, if you can’t provide an excellent customer experience, many shoppers will find someone else to give their money to.

Handling Customer Service Challenges

Customers and their issues are significant for businesses of all sizes. No matter what you want to sell, you eventually have to have someone available to answer questions and take orders for the transaction to be complete.

This is where many small businesses seem to go awry. They can develop the product and they have awesome marketing, but customer service is lacking.

We’ve made a list of four common customer service challenges and simple solutions to help you grow your corporate culture and your bottom line:

  1. Investments in your employees are investments in your customers. When your customer service team turns over once a month or your sales team is simply so unmotivated to sell that they scare customers away, you have a serious problem on your hands.Instead of treating customer care like it’s a side effect of your business, embrace it as the heart of your company. Invest in your employees with better equipment, more thorough training and financial incentives so they believe in your company and want to see it grow.
  2. Setting realistic customer service goals is vital. Many companies have goals that are at odds with one another. On one hand, they want to do better by their customers and gain their loyalty, but on the other they want to do this with much less effort and expense than it actually takes.Instead of setting impossible customer service goals, like ultra low handle times for customer service representatives, loosen the reins a little and let your customer service team do what is necessary to build customer relationships that last.
  3. Outsourcing can be a solution for a small budget. If your small business is still very small and operating on a shoestring, it might feel like you’ll never be able to hire the support you really need. Fortunately, many outsourced jobs, like those you’d get from an answering service company, are paid by the piece.So, for example, if you hire a virtual receptionist to give your company some polish, you’ll only pay the answering service for the calls that the receptionist answers.
  4. Turning negative situations into positives. There are always going to be some situations that you cannot rectify no matter what you do, but many more are fixable if you’re dedicated to customer service. Whether it’s an angry customer that didn’t like a service you provided or a shopper who just found out they need to make a return outside of your return window, you can turn these situations around.For the first customer, ask detailed questions to get to the bottom of the real problem, then offer to make it right. For the second, a store credit for a perfectly resellable returned product might not be out of the question.

At the end of the day, the most important part of customer service is providing the service that you would like to receive. This is one of those places where the Golden Rule really applies. When you give really good customer service, the investment you make in your visitors will come back to you, and then some.