How to Offer Amazing Customer Service as a Small Business, and Why It’s Important
No matter what your business is, whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or large corporation, a florist, an accountant, a legal firm or anything in between – customer service matters. We know that customer service is important, that’s instilled in us, but how many people know what the purpose of customer service is and how to offer a positive customer experience? Here, we’ll discuss all things fabulous customer service, from how to offer a great experience for your consumers to the benefits you’ll reap if you follow our advice!
We’re passionate about offering amazing customer service to our clients, and helping them to provide a positive experience for their consumers too. Want to find out more about how we do this? Get in touch with our team today! You can call us on 0345 056 8888 and we’ll be happy to help and answer any questions that you have about our services.
How to offer amazing customer service…
It all starts at home
Before implementing systems and technology to go above and beyond for your customers, you should look a little closer to home first. Offering amazing customer service starts with taking care of your employees. Quite simply, when your employees are satisfied with their role, they become more productive and therefore more likely to offer amazing customer service. If they recognise that you, as an employer, are going the extra mile to look after them, then they’ll be proud to represent your company and they’ll want to help you build a strong, positive reputation, by offering great customer service. Not only that, but they’ll genuinely want your business to succeed and they’ll want to be a part of that success!
Offer a personal touch
Offering a personalised service starts with using humans, not robots. Whilst bots and interactive voice response (IVR) systems might seem like the cost-effective option, they could drive potential business away. Put simply, they could actually lose you money rather than help you to save it! Humans can offer an unrivalled, personalised service that bots and IVR systems simply can’t match. So, how do you offer a personal touch? It all starts with being friendly, empathetic and proactive – show the customer that you truly care.
Then, tailor your service to meet their needs. There are technologies to help you do this, such as CRMs, which are systems that manage important customer insight and data, to help you track their previous interactions with your business. That way, you can pick up where your colleague left off if they’ve contacted you regarding an ongoing enquiry. If you’re a small business on a tight budget and you don’t have a CRM, listening carefully to the customer and being proactive will go a long way.
Build relationships with customers
Building positive relationships with your customers will pay off dividends – not only does it increase the likelihood of positive feedback, but it increases customer retention and customer satisfaction! To build strong relationships with your consumers, there are a few things that you can do quite easily. The key is communication. Make sure you and your employees respond to all messages and emails promptly, whether these are new enquiries or customer complaints. Don’t wait for poor customer service to become an issue – whenever you employ a new member of staff, train them effectively so they understand the importance of communication for business success.
Besides communication, you should also always aim to exceed the expectations of your customers, engage with them online through the likes of social media and always ask for feedback so that they know you’re committed to listening to their needs and making changes where necessary.
Make user experiences enjoyable
As we’ve already mentioned, creating an enjoyable user experience starts with offering services delivered by humans. When it comes to providing enjoyable user experiences for good customer service, the key is to make things as easy as possible. If customers have a problem that requires a solution, they don’t want to spend ages trying to find that solution or trying to get in touch with your customer service team. Make your communication channels and your website easy to use and navigate. Make it easy for customers to find solutions to their issues online, with comprehensive FAQs and other content for example, and if they do need extra support for their issue or enquiry then make it easy for them to get in touch with you and avoid long response times!
Have the right attitude
Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or have a team of people to deal with your customer enquiries, having the right attitude will go a long way! No matter who you’re talking to, whether it’s a potential consumer or even a customer that has a complaint, it’s important to keep your cool and maintain the right attitude and tone. Having the right attitude means remaining positive, empathetic, proactive and actively listening to the customer’s problems so that you can tailor your service accordingly.
Showing that you have the right attitude can be as simple as emphasising, or even asking, what your company can do to help a customer, rather than explaining what can’t be done to help them. Being positive doesn’t just bring benefits to customers either – remaining positive can also create a positive work environment and can influence the rest of your team to adopt the right attitude!
Stick to your word
It’s always wise to avoid making promises that you can’t keep! In business, it’s usually best to under-promise and then over-deliver, exceeding customer expectations and going above and beyond by doing so. If you do promise something and then don’t stick to your word, the customer will feel let down and will lose trust in the business. It may even prompt them to post online reviews, which could affect your reputation.
If you do promise something and cannot stick to it – for example, if you don’t follow up with a customer in the agreed timeframe or your customer doesn’t receive a delivery on time – then offer something to make up for the broken promise. Whilst offering a freebie might come at an extra cost for your business, you’ll likely gain a loyal customer in the long term, so it’s definitely worth it!
Outsource your customer interactions
If you feel swamped with all your customer interactions, why not outsource some of them? Thousands of business leaders trust us to manage their customer interactions and deliver fabulous customer service, and we can help you in the same way too! If your customer service is starting to suffer because you don’t have the resources to deal with every inbound call, live chat message or email effectively or efficiently, then perhaps it’s time to consider one of our packages.
With our tailored, comprehensive packages that offer 24/7 customer support 365 days a year, your customer calls and messages never have to go unanswered – you’ll never miss another potential lead again! By entrusting us with your customer interactions, you can free up time to be spent on the customer interactions that matter most to you. Regarding any other interactions, we can take care of these for you, ensuring that the standard of customer service is truly amazing!
How to answer a customer service call…
Our PAs are pros when it comes to answering customer service calls with perfect professionalism! We pride ourselves on dealing with customer calls effectively, in a way that provides a positive customer service experience. Using our decades of experience and customer service expertise, here’s how you should answer a customer service call…
Friendly communication is essential, so make sure that you answer the phone in a way that strikes the right balance between professionalism and friendliness. Being friendly and enthusiastic can help the customer to feel comfortable and therefore open up to you about their problem or enquiry. When the phone rings, you should always try to answer within three rings to prevent the caller from feeling ignored.
You should then answer the phone with a friendly greeting and by telling the caller who you are and which company they have called. Following up with a simple phrase such as ‘what can I do for you today?’ will help you to assess what the customer’s needs are and if they need to be forwarded onto another team or colleague, who is better suited to deal with the enquiry.
Using jargon and any phrases that the customer is unfamiliar with can make them feel overwhelmed and it also increases the likelihood of misunderstandings. It’s wrong to presume that the customer understands what you mean when you use specialist terms, as they might not be familiar with your sector and what the jargon means. Instead, when communicating with customers, use language that is clear and easy to understand. You can also invite them to ask any questions so that you have the opportunity to clarify anything that they might be unsure about.
Perfect your pace and tone
Getting your tone and pace right might seem simple, but it’s actually crucial in customer service. Mastering your tone of voice from the get-go can set the tone for the rest of the call – being positive yet empathetic can prompt the customer to open up about their problems and get comfortable with the conversation. With the wrong tone of voice, you run the risk of sounding distracted or rushed, which certainly won’t go down well with customers!
As for your pace, it’s important to get this just right. If you speak too slowly, you can sound as though you aren’t sure about the accuracy of the information you’re providing. Yet by speaking too rapidly, the customer can feel overwhelmed and bombarded with information. The key is to remain clear and easy to understand.
Devote your full attention to the call
When you receive a customer call, remove all distractions. Make sure that you stop any other tasks that you are working on so that you can give your full attention to the call. Not only does this minimise the chance of confusion or misunderstandings, but the customer can also sense whether they have your full attention or if you’re distracted. If necessary, take the call in a quiet space and make sure you wear a headset to decrease background noise.
Why is customer service important?
Now we know what amazing customer service entails, but why is it so important and why should you make sure that your business has things in place to deliver brilliant customer service? Here are just some of the reasons why…
Customer loyalty and retention
When you go that extra mile for your customers by providing amazing customer service, it increases customer loyalty and customer retention. A retained customer refers to a person that hasn’t taken their business anywhere else yet – they have only bought services or products from you. A loyal customer buys from you repeatedly and encourages others to do the same with positive feedback, word of mouth, and online reviews. Their loyalty goes beyond spending money.
Retaining current customers is always a cheaper option than attempting to acquire new customers, so maintaining a great standard of customer service is well worth it! Providing a positive customer experience that keeps them coming back for more is cheaper, and probably a lot less stressful, than designing and executing advertising campaigns and marketing strategies that target a brand new audience. And, of course, customer loyalty and retention can drive sales, which is one of the best perks for business owners!
By making customers happy and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction, this can only have positive effects on your brand reputation. Through online reviews and word of mouth, people soon get to know your business and are quick to form an opinion about it. Regardless of what sector you’re in and what business you run, first impressions matter.
You can focus on creating positive first impressions in two ways. Firstly, by offering fabulous customer service to your customers, you’ll help them form a great first impression of your business and values. Secondly, this will increase the chances of receiving positive feedback and an online review from this customer. This will then impact the first impressions of users that see your online reviews. Consumers trust consumers, and if potential customers see that other customers have had positive experiences, they’ll be more likely to get in touch or buy your services and products.
By offering brilliant customer service to increase customer loyalty and retention whilst strengthening your business’s reputation, this can work wonders for business longevity! Whilst there are varying definitions of the term ‘business longevity’, it usually refers to a business being in operation for a long time whilst experiencing growth and prosperity.
Of course, business longevity is achieved by various factors, but there’s no denying that amazing customer service is one of the key components. After all, if you offered poor customer service that resulted in bad experiences, you’d damage your reputation and lose business, which would inevitably have consequences for your business’s lifespan.
Reduce employee turnover
The purpose of a customer service team is to help customers. So, if the team makes the customer happy, then they’ve successfully done their job. Of course, these teams are sure to be up against challenges every now and then, especially when dealing with customers that seem angry and frustrated. With that in mind, you should equip your staff with the right tools and training, ensuring that they are well-equipped to deal with issues. If you’re a solo entrepreneur, make sure you invest in your own training and development too.
This can help to boost morale and job satisfaction, which reduces employee turnover. Not to mention, employee turnover can be rather expensive, so investing in the right training and tools from the outset can be a worthwhile investment. Besides employee retention, offering great customer service can also help you to recruit more staff when you need to. Prospective employees will be looking for a role within a company that has a fantastic reputation, so pleasing your customers to keep the bad reviews at bay is crucial here!
It adds value to your offering & customers are willing to pay more
When a high-quality product comes with good customer service, customers are willing to pay more for it. They know that for their money, they’ll be getting the service or product that they need as well as effective support and communication from the customer service team, whenever it’s needed. It beats cutting corners by paying for a cheap service or product that isn’t that great and doesn’t provide a good customer service experience either. Above all, offering fabulous customer service adds huge value to your offering!
Compete with the big companies
Big companies in your industry will likely be well-established with loyal customer bases and strong reputations. By investing in great customer service, as a small business, you give yourself a great chance of competing with the big companies, for many of the reasons mentioned above, such as customer loyalty and brand reputation. Investing in ways to provide brilliant customer service, such as a CRM and a telephone answering service, like ours, to ensure that your customer calls never go unanswered, are all worthwhile investments in the long term.
Amazing customer service with alldayPA
Providing fabulous customer service is simply what we do. Let’s face it, if we didn’t provide positive experiences that met and exceeded customer expectations, then we wouldn’t have been in business for over 20 years with such a loyal customer base! Not only do we provide amazing customer service to our clients but, thanks to our wide range of packages, we help them to deliver great customer service to their consumers too. So, how do we do it? Here are just some of the ways that we’re committed to going above and beyond…
A modern approach with cutting edge technology
Whilst fabulous customer service forms a big part of the services we provide, it wouldn’t be possible without technology that gets the job done effectively and efficiently. We’re always looking to invest in the best technology – we’ve spent £15m on state-of-the-art call handling technology across four different centres in the UK, to ensure business continuity in the event of a power cut. Better still, our clients get access to our Virtual Office App where they can access all of their important call data and many other fabulous features! This is just one of the many ways that we’ve made the lives of our clients so much easier.
Expertise in a range of sectors
The alldayPA family includes over 600 people, many of which are expert PAs. We have dedicated PAs to work with businesses from all sectors, so your PA will know your industry pretty well. Not only are our PAs clued up about specific sectors, but they’re experts when it comes to providing effective customer service. Our standards here are incredibly high, so our PAs are some of the best in the business! When we employ a new PA to join the team, we carry out training to ensure that they’re well-equipped to deal with different applications and software, whilst providing great customer service.
Our PAs are also highly skilled when it comes to using a range of platforms and applications to deliver a range of services and fabulous customer service. These platforms include Freshdesk, PayPal, SugarCRM and so much more! Whatever platforms and apps help to keep your business running, our PAs will be highly trained to use them and we’ll ensure that we seamlessly integrate these systems with ours.
24/7 as standard & 100% UK based
We’re proud to operate 24/7, 365 days a year, meaning that you can use our services to provide your consumers with a great customer experience all day, every day. There’s no hidden costs or additional fees – every single one of our packages is 24/7 as standard.
We’re also 100% UK based. Some telephone answering companies might outsource their calls to save money, but that’s not the way we do things here at alldayPA. All of our staff are UK based and live up to our high standards to ensure that we, and you, always have happy customers!
A service delivered by humans
We know how frustrating it can be when you’re stuck on hold for a while, only to be greeted by an answering machine or a bot on the other end of the phone. It’s just as annoying when you opt to use an online chat service, but you’re communicating with an IVR system or robot. That’s why we deliver a service that’s always delivered by humans. After all, any other alternative usually comprises customer service.
A range of packages
We’ve got a range of packages that can be tailored exactly to your business, your sector and your specific needs. You can get a quote for each of our services to receive a tailored quote based on what you need!
- Telephone Answering Service – Never miss a call again with our telephone answering package – you’ll have a dedicated PA to manage your calls whenever you need them to.
- Virtual Receptionist – With a virtual receptionist, you can enjoy the perks of the Telephone Answering package as well as remote switchboard services, instant email and SMS notiﬁcations, call triaging services, diary management and more!
- Outsourced Call Centre – With our most comprehensive package, you can enjoy all of the above and added benefits including live chat and social media message monitoring as well as bespoke CRM integration!
Looking for ways to deliver amazing customer service to your consumers? Start with an alldayPA package…
Providing amazing customer service is crucial for business growth. There’s no denying that customer service is certainly a powerful force that can make or break your business. By using fabulous customer service skills during all interactions with your customers, you can compete with bigger companies, create a strong brand reputation and increase customer loyalty and business longevity, which has the potential to catapult your business to new heights!
Whether you’re a large enterprise or a small business, delivering amazing customer service really does matter. Thankfully, that’s exactly where our passion lies – we want to help as many businesses as we can to master their customer service, whilst providing them with a positive experience too! If you’re interested in any of our packages, get in touch with our team on 0345 056 8888 any time between 9am and 6pm on weekdays. We can’t wait to help you get started!