Having loyal customers and repeat business is the key to long-term success. Good customer service is one of the things you can do to ensure you get that repeat customers and grow your business

If your business’s customer service needs a boost, try out these five tips and see how you improve. 

  • Use a Chatbot service
  • Include an FAQ on your website
  • Allow direct contact with your customers
  • Engage with customers
  • Make realistic promises

Customer service tips for small businesses

Good customer service can be the difference between repeat customers and people avoiding your business. Why leave it up to chance? Try out these customer service tips to see which suit your business best. 

Use a chatbot service

You can’t monitor your customer service line 24/7. But customers want instant solutions to their problems. Insisting on managing it yourself means at some point you’re going to miss a customers’ request. 

So why not try the best of both worlds. You don’t actually need to run your customer service all by yourself. Try using a chatbot service to help answer common questions. If you’re aware of some rarer issues, you can even include their solutions too. 

Services like ManyChat can integrate with your Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and SMS accounts to provide your customers fast and accurate responses. It can even help you to get more leads and bring more money to your business. 

On the other hand, not everyone wants to use a chatbot. If a customer would prefer to find out the information themselves, you can direct them to an FAQ

Include an FAQ on your website

If chatbots aren’t really your thing, you could opt for a Frequently Asked Questions section. Any customers who need a little extra help can navigate to this page and find the answers for themselves.

This works great for people who get frustrated by chatbots, or feel like they’re wasting their time using one. If you include an FAQ, it should be easy to find. Having a banner link to the relevant page may be a good idea. 

Knowing what to include in your FAQ can be tricky. For a brand new business, you may have to ask friends and family for questions, or look at a competitor’s FAQ. 

Slightly older businesses might have some secondary data they can go over, such as previous customer comments or surveys. Remember to use the resources at your disposal to develop your customer service. 

Of course, if a customer needs help on a specific topic, an FAQ might not be enough. Using a couple of different methods is probably your best bet. 

Allow direct contact with your customers

If a customer has used a chatbot or FAQ and still can’t find what they need, they might need to contact you directly. Including a contact number or email address after the FAQ is a good way to go about this. 

If you include your number visibly, you may get customers calling you about problems when the solution is clearly stated in the FAQs. 

Don’t make your contact information difficult to find though. When a customer has to struggle to contact you, that’s a mark of bad customer service. 

Ideally, you want to find the right balance so they’re encouraged to discover the answer themselves, but can contact you if need be. 

It’s good to make a note of the issues your customers face and their solutions. Once the issue is resolved, you may want to consider adding it to your chatbot or FAQ. This can help future customers resolve the issue themselves. 

Engage with customers

You’ll never have the right feedback if you don’t engage with your customers. They’re a valuable resource, and successful businesses know how to make the most of them. 

By asking customers for their input, you can also make them feel as if they’re helping the business. Including a 5% discount code could be a great way to show your appreciation for their efforts. 

If you’re not quite sure where to start, there’s a few different ways you can do this.

Customer surveys

Getting customers to fill out a survey about their experience can tell you exactly what you’re doing well, and where to improve. It’s easy to see your business ticking along and think everything’s going well — but is there more you could be doing?

Because surveys help identify your weaknesses, you can see if there’s a general area that needs improvement. Once you’ve fixed this, you might see a steady uptick in your revenue. 

Ask for feedback

Customer feedback is one of the best ways you can spot issues in your business. Where surveys mostly focus on quantitative data, feedback forms encourage a customer’s thoughts and opinions

If you live in a small community, you might want to make this anonymous so customers don’t feel awkward. 

Make realistic promises

When something goes wrong, it can be tempting to tell a customer that you’ll sort the issue “today”, even if you can’t. While you might appease them temporarily, you’ll do even more damage by not sticking to your word. 

Instead, be upfront and honest about how long it’ll take to fix. Tell a customer you’ll call them about the issue within the week, and stick to it. A much better solution than over-promising and under-delivering. 

Bonus! Keep track of your finances with Countingup

Sometimes, the best course of action is to issue a refund. If your business is struggling, or your money management isn’t up to scratch, then this can be damaging to your business. 

By using the Countingup app, you can automate your finances and get a crystal clear overview of the money in your business. It’s easier to give a refund when you know you can afford it. 

The Countingup app has some other cool features too, like automatic expense categorisation. This filters all your payments into HMRC-compliant categories, and drastically reduces the time your Self Assessment can take. 

If you’re interested, download the Countingup app for free.