Small businesses have a couple advantages that can really help them survive, and even thrive, in these demanding times.
One advantage is flexibility. Small businesses can make decisions and implement changes necessary to fulfill a customer’s needs. A small business owner can review the business strategy and quickly alter their tactics to achieve their goals. They can also be innovative and entrepreneurial in packaging their services and products, therefore beating the larger businesses to the market with new ideas.
Another small business advantage is the ability to offer exceptional customer service (they have a smaller number of employees to train) and the ability to use networking opportunities effectively. Who isn’t impressed when the business owner greets you, the potential customer, by name?
The people aspect of business is really what it is all about.
I ask ya this… think of customers as individuals. Once we think that way, we realize our business is our customer, not our product or services.
Here are some easy, down-home customer service tips to keep ’em coming back!
1. Lead by example. Employees take their cue from management. Realize that your people will treat your customer the way they are treated.
2. There is no way that the quality of customer service can exceed the quality of the people who provide it.
3. Know who your customers are? Calling someone by name is simple and lets them know you value them as customers.
4. Visible management is an asset. Do your customers know who you are? If they see you, would they recognize you? Could they call you by name?
5. For good customer service, go the extra mile. Include a thank-you note in a customer’s package. Give them a little of the unexpected.
6. If a customer makes a request for something special, do everything you can to say yes. The fact that a customer cared enough to ask means they’re trying to do business with you. In fact, pay attention, it might be something that others wanted too, just afraid to ask.
Want to learn more about great customer service philosophies from some of Kansas City’s best? I encourage you to watch what’s happening with The Chamber’s Small Business Celebration. It’s too late to register for tomorrow’s breakfast but there’s still time to register for lunch on the 19th. Join us, and learn tips and tricks on how Kansas City’s Top 10 Small Businesses have excelled.