Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are the backbone of every economy, including Canada’s. They create jobs, empower local communities, and pilot innovation. To be successful, SMBs need to focus on delivering great customer service. This is because focusing on great customer service helps SMBs reach their goals by doing the following:
1. It improves customer retention
Excellent customer service is essential for retaining customers, as it builds trust and confidence, and makes for happy patrons. When customers are pleased with the service they've received, they're more likely to come back and continue doing business with you. And by keeping customers satisfied and addressing any issues they may have, great customer service also reduces churn rate, or when a customer leaves or cancels their subscription with a company.
2. It expands customer base
Positive word of mouth is one of the best forms of marketing, and it's more likely to happen if you have good customer service. If a customer is happy with your product or service, they are more likely to tell their friends and family about you, bringing new customers to your business.
3. It gives a competitive advantage
With so many businesses competing for customers, you must be able to convince consumers to choose your organization. Customer service is a differentiator that can make your SMB stand out from its competitors. For instance, if you make it easy for customers to contact you by phone, email, or live chat, they are likely to choose your business over one that can’t be reached.
4. It reduces costs
One way excellent customer service helps businesses save costs is by reducing the need for returns and refunds. For example, if customers feel like they can trust a company and its products, they are less likely to return items. This saves your business money on shipping and handling costs, as well as costs of processing returns.
Great customer service also saves business costs by reducing the need for customer support. If customers can get in touch with your company and get their questions answered via a direct line, then they are less likely to need to contact customer support. This may even eliminate the need to hire a customer support team, saving the business money on operational costs.
Finally, excellent customer service reduces marketing costs. If customers are happy with a company, they are more likely to recommend it to others. This free marketing allows your SMB to cut back on marketing and advertising costs and allocate funds to other crucial aspects of operations.
Related reading: How the right tech helps small businesses cut operational costs
How can your SMB improve customer service?
By implementing the following IT solutions, you can improve your customer service and help ensure the success of your business.
- Live chat– Live chat allows customers to get help in real time without having to wait on the phone or for an email response. A chatbot can also provide 24/7 support to your customers, especially if customer representatives are unavailable. What’s more, it can automate customer support tasks, such as answering frequently asked questions.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) system – A CRM system allows you to manage your customer relationships more effectively. It can also automate repetitive tasks, such as sending out follow-up emails after a purchase is made, enabling your business to keep track of customer interactions and preferences so that you can provide a better experience overall.
- Help desk software – Help desk software enables you to track and resolve customer issues more efficiently. It consolidates all the information related to each request and makes it readily available to the support team. Help desk software also automates various tasks, such as ticketing, contact management, asset management, knowledge base, and reporting.
- Self-service portal – A self-service portal empowers customers to access and manage their own information and services. This can include account management, password reset, ticket submission, and other tasks. Self-service portals give customers the ability to address their issues without having to contact a company representative.
Aside from implementing specific IT solutions that make customer service more efficient, you must also train your employees on how to better handle customer inquiries and complaints. Having an experienced and knowledgeable customer support team can go a long way toward improving the quality of service that a business provides. By taking the time to invest in employee development, businesses can see a significant return in terms of improved customer satisfaction levels.
These are just a few of the ways that businesses can benefit from and improve customer service. If you’re looking for a technology partner that can help your business upgrade your current customer service strategy, XBASE Technologies is here to help. We can develop and implement Exponentially Better™ systems and processes for handling customer inquiries and complaints, as well as help monitor your customer service performance and give you feedback. Drop us a line now.