When you first begin a professional journey as a small business, some aspects of running a company are easier to manage than others. Regardless of industry, a key component of any successful business is a reliable and accessible customer service solution.
When a company is in its beginning stages, a small team can usually handle customer service without much thought due to the smaller demand for those services. But as a business takes off, customer needs will grow and change, and more active attention will need to be put into developing and implementing a smart client support program. That’s why many companies consider outsourcing customer service efforts, and we discuss this further below.
To help you get started, here are a few key steps and ideas to consider to best prepare your company for when that pivotal moment of growth arrives.
Focus On Being Proactive, Not Reactive
In the beginning stages of business development, it is often tricky to put a consistent customer support tactic into play because you don’t know exactly what type of problems your clients will face. And in order to figure out what type of assistance needs to be offered, you’ll need to experience a period of trial and error where problems are resolved on the fly.
This is a valuable time for a company because, especially in the early stages of small business establishment, you still have the ability to handle complaints and problem-solve with a small group of dedicated workers. Once a business grows and the demand for support rises, you won’t necessarily have that freedom and time.
Do the hard work now, in the beginning phase, to figure out what type of services are required to keep your clients happy and your business running smoothly. It’ll pay off tenfold in the long run.
Establish Reliable Customer Service Processes
As your business grows, it’ll be important to delineate certain aspects of business in order to keep things focused and organized. A big part of this is establishing specific lines of contact for customer relations, such as creating different email addresses and phone numbers for different departments. Customer service is the most common department that clients will attempt to reach, so build a system and foster a team that works for both the customer and for the business.
Make it easy for clients to contact your company in the preferred way that you would like to be contacted. For example, many companies find success in utilizing live chat features on their company website. Having these features readily available to users encourages them to contact customer service online as opposed to over the phone, meaning representatives can help multiple users simultaneously. This can increase productivity and demonstrates a high caliber of knowledgeable service to customers.
Seek Out Customer Feedback
While it may seem like a no-brainer, it is important to understand how your customer care procedures can be improved. Contact clients after they interact with your team to learn about their experience. A simple email questionnaire goes a long way in garnering useful knowledge about user perspectives. Plus, the customer feels like their opinions are valued and respected. It’s a win-win.
At the end of the day, businesses can only stay afloat as long as they are appealing to their customer base and making intelligent financial decisions. And many companies may reach a point where they don’t have the energy or employee resources to adequately handle the full extent of service needed to successfully assist clients.
If this moment arises, consider outsourcing your customer service department. There are dozens of outsourcing pros and cons that should be examined and carefully considered before making this decision, but often the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Outsourcing can save companies large amounts of money that can be used to strengthen other aspects of your business. Additionally, outsourcing has the potential to improve overall customer service experiences when a trusted, reliable company is employed.
All small businesses dream of flourishing. And when that day arrives, thorough preparation for scaling customer service is essential to your company’s success.