Operating and growing an ecommerce small business comes with a huge checklist of things to do and departments to manage. With all that goes into getting new customers and generating revenue, sometimes customer service and support become secondary. But small business customer service is what often drives the brand loyalty that gives these growing companies an edge in order to outpace their competitors.
The key to building out a small business customer service strategy starts with finding a solution that contributes to, rather than inhibits, your fast expansion as a brand. The right solutions will scale with your business and create opportunities to drive revenue in completely new areas.
Read on for a deep dive into how to improve small business customer service and to explore some of the best tools on the market.
Why Is Customer Service Important to Small Businesses?
Small business customer service is important because it can maximize your ability to connect with shoppers, build brand affinity, and in turn, get them to spread the word about your business to a wider audience via word of mouth referrals.
Here’s what makes these three qualities so important to a growing business:
Connect with shoppers
All customers are unique, and each one will want to contact your business on the channels they prefer. The best strategy is to build out a multichannel approach so you’re prepared to meet them where they are, rather than forcing them to reach out on a channel they’re less comfortable with.
Customers who have better service experiences feel more confident in the brands they patronize and come back to shop more often. In Gladly’s 2022 Customer Expectations Report, nearly a third (32%) of consumers said they would fall in love with a brand because of great service.
Spread the word
New customer acquisition is expensive, particularly for small businesses. But shoppers who leave a service experience satisfied are more likely to share their positive stories via word-of-mouth referrals, attracting new customers organically. We found that 59% of consumers would recommend a brand to a friend because of great service.
How to Improve Small Business Customer Service
Improving customer service involves focusing on the channels customers prefer, making your support center more collaborative, and providing radically personal service.
Here’s how to improve customer service as a small business:
- Focus on the channels most popular with your customers. You might not be able to afford robust service on every major channel, but understanding the top choices your shoppers prefer is a big step to earning valuable loyalty. We found that 42% of customers ranked reaching customer service agents on their preferred channel as the most important attribute of the customer experience.
- Make your support center collaborative. Breaking down internal communication barriers speeds up workflow management and creates more opportunities for agents to cooperate and tackle tasks together. This improves speed and efficiency for customers and helps you earn their trust.
- Create radically personal experiences. This starts with well-trained customer service agents who know and understand both your products and your customers. The complementary piece is a platform that empowers those agents to use personalization on a regular basis, allowing them to anticipate customer needs and recommend products.
What Are the Best Customer Service Apps for Small Businesses?
The right customer service apps connect shoppers across all channels, keep the conversation going beyond just the purchase, and provide additional revenue opportunities. Just as important is having a platform like Gladly, which brings all the essential customer experience pieces together with a wide range of integrations.
While other support platforms increase fees exponentially as your center expands and unlocks more capabilities and tools, Gladly has a flat rate based on the number of agents on your support team, with all features available to your team out of the box. This means gaining access to powerful, enterprise-level tools, including intelligent workforce and task management, along with People Match, which automatically pairs support agents with shoppers for optimal small business customer service.
As you grow your small business support team, consider how customer expectations have evolved over the last few years. Read more in Gladly’s 2022 Customer Expectations Report.
2022 Customer Expectations Report