Since the dawn of business, there has been a little guy who has struggled against an enterprise with a bigger market share and a wider reach. In these situations, the bigger fish are usually able to win on several fronts, having the ability to offer a lower price or a wider product range. However, there has always been an area in which the smaller business can outshine its larger competitor: customer service.
Three in five people would be willing to try a new brand for better service, while around half of consumers would use a company more frequently after a positive customer experience. This is something SMEs can really excel at, and these two statistics show it can be used to both attract and retain customers. So, what can SMEs do to really use this to their advantage?
Understanding your customers’ needs
As most SMEs are operating with a smaller customer base, they can afford to be flexible to meet their customers’ needs. Larger businesses often make use of a one size fits all approach to their service so, if you can provide something that is more tailored, you can make your customers feel really valued as a result. You can still put a framework in place for your employees to deal with clients just be sure to make it loose enough to adapt to individual requirements.
Prioritising good communication
By prioritising communication with your customers, you can ensure that your company has a human face, and doesn’t suffer from the automated, robotic experience that many larger corporations offer. This can be done in a lot of ways, from directly engaging with them on social media to making sure there is a real human at the end of the phone to personally handle orders or complaints.
Recruit enthusiastic staff and invest in them
To be able to pull off some good old-fashioned customer service, you need to have the right team to handle orders, comments, and complaints. You will only be able to deliver your very best if you have employed enthusiastic and knowledgeable people who really love to provide great service.
You need to make sure that you continue to invest in your service staff too, giving them the chance to progress and develop. Provide regular product training, mentoring for new staff, and an appraisal system to help your employees reach their potential. By doing this, you can preserve their positive attitude and prevent them from becoming disillusioned, all while progressing your customer service team.