Every small business owner knows that happy and engaged customers are profitable customers. But delivering stellar customer service is easier said than done. In July of 2011, Consumer Reports asked 1,000 customers to share their gripes and what they found shouldn’t surprise anyone.
The number one complaint from customers is not being able to get a human being on the phone. This customer complaint was closely followed by in-store staff rudeness, long waits, pushy sales people and being pitched additional products.
With results like that, it should be no surprise that delivering an excellent customer experience offers small businesses a huge opportunity for a real competitive advantage. Your customer service strategy is about much more than creating smiling customers who refer business to you, great customer service can set you apart from the competition, and done right, can supply your business with ongoing revenue for many years.
Another powerful addition to your customer service strategy should also include social media, online review sites and metrics. There is so much to learn about how to track your brand and your reputation online. But once you’ve outlined who the key players are and put the notification systems in place, you might actually find it fun and rewarding to interact with your customers.
Rather than roam around the web looking and sifting through all this information and trying to make sense of it, I’ve pulled together the following articles that contain the most current thinking on creating a customer experience that builds your brand, customer engagement, customer feedback and best practices in customer service.
Why Customer Engagement Is Just as Important as Customer Service
What Smart Entrepreneurs Know About Engaging Their Customers
4 Quick Tips for Improving Feedback
Why Small Business Needs to Pay Attention to Yelp
The Magic Weapon Against Online Complaints
5 Ways Surveys Can Help Your Small Business
Team and Training
Success Starts With Your People
Unconventional Measures of Customer Service Excellence
Why Showing Your Customers the Love Is More Important Than the Sale
4 Genuine Ways to Execute Your Brand’s Promise
Brand Is Not a 4-Letter Word
Is Your E-Mail Address Destroying Your Business?