Customer Service Mistakes No Small Business Can Afford to Make

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Customer Service Mistakes No Small Business

To say that a lot of effort is required to make a small business succeed would be a massive understatement. Overseeing marketing efforts, recruiting talented team members and effectively managing a small workforce are just a few of the challenges small business owners face on a daily basis. However, when it comes to ensuring the success of a small business, there’s one area in which you can’t afford to compromise: customer service. The quality of the customer you provide stands to make or break your business, so when dealing with patrons, take care to avoid the following blunders.

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Never Admitting Mistakes

You may think that refusing to admit mistakes is a sign of strength, but a total aversion to owning up to mistakes on the part of your business will do you no favors with customers. This isn’t to say that every single customer grievance that comes your way is going to be fully warranted, but it’s important that you and your staff be able to recognize your own mistakes and be willing to make amends for them. Upon receiving complaints from customers, many business owners instinctively go on the defensive and push back against any type of criticism with all their might. However, by taking the time to consider each complaint and think about any role your business may have played in facilitating the situation, you’re liable to become aware of certain flaws. And the sooner you come to recognize those flaws, the sooner you can set to work making amends.

Additionally, it should come as no surprise that no consumer relishes giving their money to someone who refuses to acknowledge any degree of oversight or incompetence on their part of their business. So, if your default response to customer grievances is deflection or denial, don’t be surprised if you start seeing very little in terms of repeat business.

Being Slow to Respond to Customer Communiques

A general slowness in responding to customer communiques can carry a number of undesirable consequences for your business. For starters, it’s liable to make customers feel unimportant. No one enjoys feeling as if their input doesn’t matter, and if enough patrons get the impression that their feedback means nothing to you, negative word-of-mouth is likely to follow. A lack of responsiveness to customer communiques is liable to facilitate complaints on popular social media outlets, consumer feedback sites and other corners of the web.

With this in mind, take care to respond to phone calls, emails and text messages from customers in a timely and professional manner. Ideally, if a communique is received during normal business hours, it should receive a response within the same day. Small businesses that receive large numbers of customer communiques on a daily basis can benefit from hiring dedicated customer support staff. These individuals will take point on any and all matters pertaining to customer service, effectively lifting a tremendous weight off your shoulders.

Not Making Changes Based on Customer Feedback

While there’s no denying the importance of encouraging customer feedback, said feedback isn’t going to mean much if you’re unwilling to base changes around it. This isn’t to say that every piece of feedback you receive is going to be helpful, but if enough of your customer base is asking for something or wishes to see a certain policy changed, you’d do well to listen.

Modern consumers appreciate feeling heard, and if the brands and businesses they support regard their feedback as unimportant, many of them won’t hesitate to take their patronage elsewhere. That being the case, you and your staff should regularly consider the most common complaints and requests you receive and make policy changes based on that information. For more insightful tips on how to use feedback to your business’s advantage and make your small business thrive, tune in to the top female entrepreneur podcast.

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Regarding customer service as an afterthought can prove disastrous for any small business. In the digital age, consumers have more options than ever before, and if your business is unable to provide solid customer service, patrons can find a worthy competitor with just a few simple clicks. So, if the customer service provided by you and your staff could use some improvement, make sure to be mindful of the behaviors discussed above.

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