Small businesses have an uphill battle against big business. Big businesses have the marketing budgets and finances to offer products for cheaper, reach a larger audience and push small businesses out of the marketplace.
Yet, there’s one area where small businesses are leveraging their smaller teams to offer superior service: customer service.
How are small businesses changing the customer service landscape?
Intimate Relationships with Clients
The client-customer relationship is lacking in today’s business world. Customers now shop online, or they move from one business to the next. Loyalty is in short supply, and the relationships that small businesses once had with their clients is all but gone.
But slowly, we’re seeing a rise in these close relationships.
Customer relationship management, or CRM, is helping small businesses keep a close eye on their customer service skills. These management systems contain a record of all customer calls, information and can even include pictures.
Imagine calling a company and giving them your information, and all of a sudden they say, “Hi Jack, how are the wife and kids doing? Did you ever find a way to restore your broken phone?”
If a business is able to relate to a customer on a personal level like this, it’s much easier to retain clients, get referrals and have long-term relationships.
Real-time Customer Service
When customers contact your business, they want to have results fast. Avacare Medical offers an online chat system that connects customers directly to a sales agent. When a person has a question or concern, it’s dealt with in real-time.
This level of support may only be available for part of the day, but it’s still a good way to show customers the level of commitment you have to them.
And customer service is also taking on a new form, with chatbots that will be able to offer real-time answering of questions by going through databases. It’s an impressive feat, and at the very least, it will allow smaller businesses to compete further against larger entities.
Real-time customer service is a way to provide answers to questions that many of the big businesses have answered.
Personalization and Thank You Notes
Etsy sellers are small brands. Some have made it big, but they’re smaller entities that are just trying to make a living. And they have shown the world what customer service really means. I remember receiving an item from an Etsy seller, and she went the extra-mile with everything.
I received a handwritten note thanking me for being her customer.
I also received a few samples of her other products, which was a nice additional considering how small of a store she runs. I am sure that the small samples eat into her profits, but she also made me interested in other items she provided.
A few weeks went by, and she reached out to make sure everything was up to my expectations.
I mean, I would never receive this level of customer service from a Fortune 500 company – it would never happen.
But on a small scale, it’s possible to maintain this level of customer service to keep clients coming back and bring in new leads. It’s often the small things that count the most.