How effective and efficient is your customer service? Does your business have a good customer service management plan? Do your business team, employees and customer service representatives understand the importance of keeping the customers happy? If your answer is no, then this article is for you.
“The purpose of a business is to create a customer.” – Peter Drucker
Take a look at the most popular and valuable brands in the world like MTN, Airtel, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, GTBank, First Bank, Virgin Group, etc and you will observe that they are companies that devote time and resources just to keep their customers happy. You can spend your entire resources to attract new customers but without the loyalty of the customers, your business is sitting a keg of gun powder; even if you have the best product in the marketplace.
“Customer service will become the primary value added function of every business.” – Bill Gates
Now how do you ensure a smooth customer experience? How do you offer excellent customer services without breaking the bank? The answer lies in your customer services management strategy. So without wasting your time, below are ten customer services management tips for small business owners.
“Only a few businesses will succeed by having the lowest price, so most will need a strategy that includes customer services.” – Bill Gates
10 Customer Services Management Tips for Small Business Owners
1. Make Excellent Customer Service a top Priority
The first customer services management tip for small business owners is excellent customer service. It cannot be over emphasized just how important customers are to a business. It is said that cash flow is the lifeblood of business and the customers are responsible for over 80 percent of this cash flow; so therefore, customers are the true lifeblood of a business.
Without customers, there is no reason for a business to continue its operations. That is why in every facet of a business, excellent customer service must be achieved. This means that customer’s satisfaction should always be the top priority. They should always be the first and foremost consideration when doing something, improving a product or service and introducing something new for the business.
Every small business owner must read success stories of big companies. Most of the latter started small. They should also take heed of the best practices done by other companies. Thus, getting ideas from them is good.
2. Engage in strategic planning
In life, it is good to be spontaneous but this does not really work in businesses. To succeed in business, you must be strategic in your thinking and your approach. A company, especially a small one, must adopt an effective strategic plan that will dictate its actions and movements for the next few years.
Also, you must bear in mind that the best strategic plan for your business depends on the direction that the company wishes to take. But you must also make consider the customer in your plans and make them the foundation of your plans.
3. Encourage and reward your employees for positive actions they take
Another customer services management tip for small business owners is employee compensation. The satisfaction of your customers does not only depend on the plans and programs of the company. It is also highly dependent on the employees.
No matter how small a business is, the owner is not always present to see everything that is going on. Especially if the company has started growing, it would be difficult for you to watch over all the employees. Therefore, providing compensation to motivate them to do their job and cater to the customers properly and excellently is a great way to manage the company. Keep your employees happy and they will in turn keep your customers happy.
“If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it, you almost don’t have to manage them.” – Jack Welch
You should also make sure you frequently train your employees on how to handle customers and frequently discuss with them on the challenges of handling customers. This will help you appreciate their efforts and help you understand your customers better.
4. Create a goal and vision for your company
The fourth tip is to set a clear expectation and goals for the entire company so that everyone is guided on what they are doing. This can be done by having an operations manual that is always available to be referred to in case of doubts and disputes; and your customer services team should also have a customer services manual. It will also be helpful if every employee undergoes training where they will be made familiar of these goals and expectations.
5. Create a Plan or customer management strategy
The fifth tip is to create a plan and a plan needs to have a target. It is needed to make sure the company is on the right track and is not slacking off. A good plan for small business owners is an intimate and personal plan. Being a small business, it is possible and advisable to make a plan for every facet of the business; such as plan for the clients, employees and most importantly, customers.ment Tips for Small Business Owners
6. Choose your management team wisely
“The team with the best players wins.” – Jack Welch
The sixth tip is to choose managers and supervisors that you can fully trust. Employee people who are sociable and possess good people skills; these people should be on the frontline to deal with your customers. Then employ a competent manager to oversee the operations and tasks of these frontline staff.
7. Create a plan that will excite the customers
8. Get advice from people that know your customers well and seek feedback from your customers
9. Make products with names that are appealing to your customers
“If you get your face and your name out there enough, people will start to recognize you.” – Richard Branson
You should also strive to give your customers incentives and bonuses just to keep them happy. Try initiating a customer loyalty program.
10. Put your customers first in everything you do
In conclusion, these are the top 10 customer services management tips for small business owners. I hope you find these tips helpful.