Regardless of whether or not the customer is ‘always right’, your small business needs to focus on providing elite customer service. Why, you ask? Simply put, it directly affects your online marketing efforts.
The Internet has become the world’s soapbox. This medium allows customers all over the world to voice their opinion about your business, service, or products in a positive or negative light. With this ability, customers have a direct affect on the online success of your company. If you are investing your time and resources into online marketing, you should also focus on improving and maintaining the elite level of your customer service as well.
Provide Superior Customer Service
There is always room for improvement in a business, especially in the arena of customer service. Whether you go the extra mile to please a customer or need to completely rethink your customer service strategy, be sure to always implement these common customer service concepts.
Treat Others as You Would Like To Be Treated
Ah, the golden rule. Although you are a business owner, you are a customer to multiple other businesses as well. You know exactly how you would want to be treated as a customer, so extend that feeling to your valued customers. Whether it’s greeting each customer with a smile and asking how you can be of assistance or solving their problem promptly, satisfying your customers will go a long way. Remember, they will tell others via word of mouth, social media, email, online reviews and more. Simple gestures of politeness are more valuable than perceived.
Create Lasting Relationships
As a small business, you have the advantage and ability to create lasting relationships with loyal customers. These can be generated in a variety of ways:
- Reach out to your customers in-store and online and ask for feedback. Send a thank you note after the interaction.
- Offer loyalty programs. Promote through online channels as well.
- Take the time to get to know your customers each day by striking up a simple conversation.
- Learn the names of your frequent customers.
In addition to securing future sales, these solid customer relationships will also create brand advocates for your business. These brand advocates will be apt to leave positive reviews on websites such as Yelp and Google Plus, engage with your social media channels and refer others to your business.
Be a Human, Not a Machine
All too often, small to large companies use obviously pre-planned canned responses and automated messages as an attempt to have a consistent level of customer service. In reality, this ends up alienating customers. When responding to customer concerns via social media or in-store, always maintain a human aspect to your social media. There’s nothing worse than having a customer concern or problem go unresolved because a canned response or automated message was used. Besides, using these automated responses conveys the idea that you do not care about your customers’ satisfaction.
How Does This Affect Online Marketing?
As mentioned before, the Internet is ripe with places for customers to voice their opinions and concerns. As a small business, you rely on online marketing to drive customers to make purchases in-store and online. If your customer service is poor and your customers are left discontented, they will often voice their frustration. There are numerous ways for customers to voice their opinions online and offline:
- Social Media Channels
- Online Customer Reviews
- Public Online Forums
- Editorial Columns
- Word of Mouth
- And more
From refusing to engage with your business on social media to disrupting your future sales by leaving online reviews, your customers hold the power to influence your online reputation. This can all be alleviated and managed through consistent and pleasant customer service.
The quality of customer service from your business directly affects the success or failure of your company online. You can invest a large sum of money into online marketing, but if your customer service processes are sub-par – you will see minimal results, if any.
Titan Web Marketing Solutions can assist you with all of your online marketing needs. If you take care of ensuring a high level of customer service, we can assure you that your online marketing efforts will be a success. Give us a call today at 615-890-3600 to learn more.