You can have the biggest marketing budget in the world and the best product but if your customer service needs improvement, it will eventually catch up with your business. In the
past month, I’ve been working to get a lot of my “back office” type stuff in place. As with many small business owners, this is usually a job we tackle ourselves to save money. (Before you do that, see my last post on Know When to Say No to a DIY Project). With that, I have worked with national vendors that have really made me realize working with a small business is probably the way I should have gone.
Each of the companies I am referring to have a national presence, huge marketing budgets and teams of people in place to provide customer service. Even with all that in their corner they still couldn’t deliver what I would consider “good customer service”. As a small business owner you can’t compete with the resources these large companies have but you can compete with them when it comes to customer service.
With that being said, make sure your customer service is top-notch in your business. It is actually very easy to do. Try things like responding to emails and customer requests in a timely manner. If someone posts something on one of your social media accounts, good or bad, acknowledge it. Let your customers know you are listening and trying to help them solve their problems.
In terms of marketing, providing good customer service can actually save you money. How you ask? Well if you are providing good customer service you are most likely creating loyal clients. It is a well known fact in marketing that maintaining an existing customer is far less expensive than acquiring a new one. Also satisfied customers will be willing to provide positive word of mouth for you. That is advertising you can’t buy with any budget so keep your customer service at the top of your priority list and show those national brands how it is done!*Photo credit: Flickr