Imagine this. You sit down at a new restaurant, and it takes 45 minutes for a server to visit your table. Finally, you say, “Can I get a glass of water?”
Even if the food was to die for, would you return? According to a 2023 report from PwC, 32% of customers will walk away from a business after only one bad experience.
Small business customer service is just as important as offering a great product — and possibly more so. That’s because technology connects us and creates a forum for online reviews. In fact, 89% of customers won’t purchase from a company before they’ve read its reviews.
If you aren’t currently placing a high priority on learning customer service tips to avoid those bad reviews, you need to start now. It takes minutes for someone to have a bad experience and tell the world, potentially costing money for your business.
That’s why I’m here to share good customer service tips that could transform your business. Best of all, these customer support tips can be used right now, meaning you’re just a few minutes away from potentially taking your business to the next level.
Sure, you want to avoid bad reviews. But there are other great reasons to improve small business customer service as well.
Sold on the reasons why you should improve customer service? Good! Now let’s talk about five practical ways to help make your customers happier today.
Instead of emailing a customer, meet them in person or chat with them on the phone. Email is quick, but your tone could be misinterpreted.
Studies suggest that only 7% of a person’s message is taken from spoken words, and the rest is communicated through facial expressions, tone, and body language.
The good news is that it’s easy to get more time with your customers. Here are a few customer support tips:
Can’t meet face-to-face? Pick up the phone, especially if a customer has had a bad experience. An apology over the phone is more genuine and effective than an email.
Too often, consumers get bounced around on support lines. Think about it — how often have you:
It’s frustrating, isn’t it? Make sure your small business customer service is fast, convenient, and helpful. Try to solve problems quickly, explain what happened, and limit the time a person is on hold. If you can’t solve the issue immediately, offer to call back with a solution. Then keep your promise — call back!
This customer service tip might feel a little out of left field, but bear with me here.
Whether you offer your customers a product or service, strive to be a professional and trustworthy business owner who prioritizes keeping them safe. While you can certainly tell your customers how dependable you are; however, showing them you take their peace of mind seriously is one of the best customer service tips we can offer you.
That’s exactly why having startup business insurance is so critical.
Business insurance is one of those trust cues that lets customers know that you take your business (and their peace of mind) seriously. After all, when you run a small business, anything can happen. It’s important to carry business insurance to help pay for accidents, damage, or stolen property.
This way, you can make repairs and fix issues without disrupting your service or going bankrupt.
Plus, if any of your customers get injured or suffer financially as a result of professional negligence, your business insurance policy could help cover some or all of those costs depending on your policy limits.
It’s easy to see why having choice insurance is one of the most powerful trust cues available to a small business owner!
Depending on your industry, you might want to have:
Startup business insurance will cover you when the unexpected happens — and help you get back on your feet fast.
As a business owner, you deal with all types of small business customers, including some who are frustrated, annoyed, or confused. It’s generally a good idea to deal with them patiently and with empathy, no matter how difficult it may be.
Here are a few tips to help:
Want more advice on dealing with a customer who won’t calm down or continue being angry? One of our other customer service articles walks you through how to deal with a difficult customer.
Getting customer feedback is critical to your success. Start by setting a goal. Do you want to know how your product is performing? Wondering if your small business customers are recommending your services to friends and family?
After that, decide on a survey type. Here are three different ways to measure feedback, each involving asking just one question.
Once you gather your survey results, take time to analyze the feedback. You can even go a step further and hold focus groups to ask deeper questions. The more you know, the more you can do to improve your small business customer experience.
While we’re on the topic of learning, our online resource center has valuable information about small business insurance — and two more customer service articles that you will definitely want to read and heed.
The more valued your customers feel, the more likely they will continue buying from you and telling others about their experience with you and your company. Your new and improved customer service approach will help reel in dollars before you know it.
I earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (go Bucky). After realizing my first job might involve carrying a police scanner at 2 am in pursuit of “newsworthy” crimes, I decided I was better suited for freelance blogging and marketing writing. Since 2010, I’ve owned my freelance writing business, EST Creative. When I’m not penning, doodling ideas, or chatting with clients, you’ll find me hiking with my husband, baby boy, and 2 mischievous mutts.
Emily writes on a number of topics such as entrepreneurship, small business networking, and budgeting.
This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer
*Harborway Insurance policies are underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company and reinsured by Munich Re, an A+ (Superior) rated insurance carrier by AM Best. Harborway Insurance is a brand name of Harborway Insurance Agency, LLC, a licensed insurance producer in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. California license #6004217.