What’s one of the most important things about success in your small business? Did you know it could be your customer service?

Customer service is actually oftentimes more important in small business than the big names, because your customers expect to treated well and with that personal touch.

Your customer service initiatives can make your small business stand out in your community and above your competition.

In fact, Americans are more willing to pay for good customer service, so by having great customer service, you’ll in turn get great customers.

As the article, “Customer service: Help your business stand out from the competition!” looks at, keep these ideas in mind:

  • Respond! – When a customer reaches out to you, whether in a positive or negative vein, respond! Perhaps they’ve emailed you to say what a great experience they’ve had with you – thank them and tell them how much you appreciate them. On the other hand, perhaps you get a blast on social media from an unhappy customer. Respond to that, too, and your other customers will see how you remedy a bad situation. Even if you just acknowledge a negative with a comment, you’ll show you’re not afraid to admit that all is not perfect. And if it’s a simple question like your store hours or setting up a consultation, don’t linger in your response, answer promptly and pleasantly, and you may have just won over a new customer.
  • Help your employees strive for great customer service – No matter what role an employee has in your company, coach them on customer service. A smile and a greeting are worth more than you know, and if it’s absent, well, that can send a bad message.
  • Thank your customers – Have a customer appreciation event or reward. Depending on what your business is, you can incorporate something, from a two for one or a 15% referral discount. Remember, word of mouth is huge in the small business community, and if you thank your customers for referring you, they may be more prone to do so.
  • Maintain great social media – Social media adds to your customer service because it just makes things easier. If you are closing for a week over the summer, let your social media followers know it. Then they won’t be irritated if they stop by your store and it’s closed. You can also toot your own horn on social media and it sends out positive messages.
  • Own your mistakes – If a customer is unhappy, do what you can to make it better. Sure, some people will never be satisfied, but others are pretty easy. If you served them the wrong coffee drink, for instance, make a new one and refund their money. Sure, maybe you lost a few dollars, but you gained a happy customer.

Customer satisfaction is important in owning a small business. After all, what’s a business without customers?

And one of the best ways to get and maintain customer satisfaction is thorough great customer service.

You can do it!

About the Author: Heather Legg is an independent writer who covers topics related to social media, owning your own business and working from home.