Running a small business is no easy task. No one knows that better than you. There are plenty of misconceptions about what small businesses can and cannot do, and what is and is not important when you are running a small business. One of the common myths is that small businesses cannot offer great customer support.
Customer support is incredibly important for any business of any size—but it is particularly important to small businesses. Why?
You Fight for Every Customer
People like to think that if you make a better mousetrap, customers will line up out your door, and investors will be throwing money at you.
Almost nothing could be further from the truth. Most small businesses must compete in order to win customers—and they are often up against huge corporations that have established customer bases. Maybe those companies have been in the game for a long time. You have to convince customers to do business with you instead—and often, simply having the better product or service is not going to win them over. That means each customer you do convince is a small, hard-won victory.
A Better Product or Service Is Not Enough
As mentioned, simply having a better product or service is not enough to convince customers to turn away from the organizations they are already doing business with. Even having lower prices is not enough to convince customers to switch. Why?
Most surveys reveal the answer: Customers are looking for a better experience and greater support. That means they care less about products and pricing. More than 80% of consumers indicated that they would stop business with a company if they perceived that they had received poor customer service. Your business cannot afford to lose 80% of its hard-won customers, so you need to be sure you are providing excellent customer support to your existing customers.
Earning Your Reputation
At the same time that you offer your existing customers excellent customer support, you’ll also earn a reputation as a great organization to do business with. Customers who feel they receive excellent service are more likely to be repeat customers, and they are much more likely to recommend your business to friends and family. In turn, these referred customers are more likely to stick with you.
When you are running a small business, every single customer counts, so retaining customers and turning them into repeat buyers is important. Referrals are also an excellent way to grow your customer base. After all, word of mouth marketing is still by far the most effective marketing technique available.
How Can You Provide Better Customer Support?
Once you understand how important it is to have great customer support for your small business, the next question is an obvious one: How do you get great customer support? When running a small business, many people feel they do not have the resources—time, money, or people—to offer excellent customer service, even though they know they need to.
Luckily, there are plenty of great ways for small businesses to access excellent services for their customers. Do not feel you need to do everything yourself; partnering with another organization can help you get the services you need, use the latest technologies, and tap into expertise. All of that can translate into a better customer experience, which can in turn boost your sales and grow your customer base.
A Few Techniques for Better Customer Support
The best way to provide better customer support is to connect more deeply with your customers. Follow up with them after they have purchased a product or service. Get their feedback.
Offer your customers 24/7 support and allow them to get in touch however they would like, whenever they want. If that sounds like a tall order for a small business, consider a strategic partnership to help you achieve the best possible experience for your customers.