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Customer Service Essential for Small to Medium Businesses

Customer Experience

Customer Service Essential for Small to Medium Businesses image basics

Smaller businesses don’t always have the resources for quick-response and automated customer service, but because they’re not gigantic conglomerates, consumers still expect the same speed and quality of service – perhaps even more than they do of larger companies. In the age of social media and technology advancements, it’s easy to lose track of the customer service essentials SMBs need to maintain to stay relevant.

How does your website look?
A recent Forbes Magazine article noted that in their attempts to stay relevant in sales, SMBs often lose sight of their websites. Try walking through your website from the perspective of someone who’s never heard of your company before. Ask yourself: Is my website user friendly and modern looking and will it make customers visit more than once? You want your customers to frequent your website often and have a positive experience with it. Resources and support links should be easy for them to find, and pages should navigate organically to and from each other.

Forbes analysis reads: “As sales move to digital, the web site drives higher customer value and loyalty. Just as importantly, it lowers interaction costs — critical for winning in the SMB market where the small size of each individual customer requires a nimble interaction model to capture any margin.”

Do you have a social channel for your customers?

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Social media customer relationship management (social CRM) is expected to be a billion dollar industry and is quickly being adapted into sales strategies and best practices. If you haven’t already, create a twitter handle for your support team. Monitor it weekly, if not daily, to engage with customers, promote deals and monitor customer service issues. Virgin Atlantic, for example, has set up a system that allows flyers to Tweet them for flight status updates. http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/en/gb/bookflightsandmore/innovationzone/virginfamily/twitterstatus.jsp 0

People want their businesses to be as interactive as they are, which means you should develop social media strategies for your customer support as soon as possible. Don’t look at it as a nuisance, either. Social CRM apps, which allow you to better track your customers online behavior, increase productivity among your sales team by about 25 percent.

How are you following up?
You absolutely should not leave your customers high and dry after you’ve won them. This isn’t Boiler Room. Refocus your SMB sales team commitment so every rep follows up with every customer post-sale in search of renewals and upsells. Ask them how their experience with your company went and encourage them to come back. To increase your chances of renewals, consider offering discounts to entice them to come back.

You should also fall back on your strong website and social media presence when chasing renewals. Once they purchase a product, make sure your website offers tips for using that product and recommends similar products they haven’t bought. Also engage with them via a tweet, for example, if they’ve found your business through a social media site. Customers are more inclined to come back to a business that can prove its run by humans and not automated, spam-like virtual salesmen.

Comments on this Article: 1

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  1. You may have the best products, clever marketing, spiffy website and great location, but….the customer experience is arguably a company’s most valuable asset.

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