1. Be Appreciative
A negative review can sink your small business and face it, your customers have options. Give them every reason to stay by always letting them know how much you appreciate their business.
2. Be Available
When a customer calls your company, they have the expectation that someone should answer. Be there or let them know when you will get back to them. Call them back as soon as you are able to.
3. Use Their Name
While engaging with customers, always use their name in conversation. People love hearing their name, even if they know what you are doing they will appreciate it and respond positively.
4. Be Friendly
If a customer is calling you, they likely either want to know something about your company or they have an issue. If you are open and friendly you will promote a positive conversation.
5. Be Honest
Your customers rely on your products and services and that requires a great amount of trust. Honesty is the best path to building long term customer relationships which results in higher revenue.
6. Deliver on Promises
After you get off a call with a customer, make a list of actions you need to take. Keep this list in a tool such as Trello. A simple reminder to follow-up a day after a call will result in a life-long customer.
7. 125% Satisfaction
Dissect what the customer is calling about and go above and beyond. As a small business you are flexible and capable of offering concierge level customer service.
8. Ask for Forgiveness
Acknowledge when you have made a mistake with your customer. If you dropped the ball or your customer had a dissatisfying experience, ask for forgiveness by offering a discount or a free gift for their troubles.
9. Just Listen
You may think you know precisely what your customer is calling about and your knee jerk reaction is to interrupt them. Be patient, there is no rush to get them off the call. You will learn more about your company if you just listen.
10. Fun Custom Greeting
Tailor your greeting to match your type of business. Don’t be boring, big businesses are boring. You are a small and fun startup with energy. Get your customer excited to speak with you.
11. Free Stuff
Customers love getting stuff for free. Even if it is just some helpful information. Create a simple pdf (like this one) that all of your customers would benefit from. During the call ask them if you can send it to them for free.
Your customers have a different perspective of your company than you do. Ask them what you could be doing better and then genuinely listen to their response. Let them know what steps you will take to make it happen.