by Mike MacPherson, Director of Sales and Marketing for VBO Tickets
One of the biggest challenges for new small businesses is establishing a solid customer support system. When a company is just starting, it can be easy to get so focused on the product that you forget to explore how to serve your clientele best. It is crucial to think about customer support upfront because an investment in support will provide returns in the satisfaction and retention of customers.
Excellent customer support doesn’t need to be complex or innovative. The best customer support is not about having the newest methods but being rooted in the basic principles of service that have driven interactions with clients for years. Everything comes back to the customer and finding a solution that fulfills their wants and needs. It’s essential to embrace these foundational concepts because a customer-centric approach will positively impact your business and profits.
1. Listen to your customers.
Although it may seem like common sense, the most important thing that a small business owner can do to create great customer service is listen to the customer. Customer feedback can be a precious tool if used correctly and ignoring it is one of the biggest mistakes a new small business can make. Feedback lets a company know what is and isn’t working about what you offer, and it can also help guide innovations in the product. Listening to feedback also helps form a relationship of trust with the client. It increases loyalty, which is important both for driving continued business with existing clients and attracting prospective clients to the company and product.
2. Get a great customer support team.
Another basic thing that companies can do to improve their customer service is investing in their support team. You need to find people who are skilled problem solvers and are passionate about helping others so that they will be fully invested in the customer experience. Good customer service requires having great employees to represent the company to your customers. To have an effective customer-driven approach, your employees should care just as much about the customer experience as the customers themselves do. If they don’t, your team may create just as many problems as they solve.
3. Engage with your customers.
It is also vital to engage with your customer base and understand how they interact with your product or service. You must recognize why your customers are drawn to your company and how you can help them maximize their use of what you offer because that will leave them happy with the results. If your customers think of your company as nothing more than that, they probably don’t have much loyalty to your brand. If you know how your product fulfills a customer’s wants and needs, you can keep your customers happy, and happy customers lead to word-of-mouth referrals and drive business growth.
4. Take a company-wide approach.
One underutilized method in customer service is a whole-company approach. Every employee from the top to the bottom of the company should be invested in the customer experience. Even though an employee may not interact with the customer directly, they should still care about how the customer interacts with the company’s product. If you don’t care about the satisfaction of the people using your product, you can’t expect them to be happy with what you offer. It is important to empathize with the customer and understand their frustrations so that you can then find the best solution for their needs.
By applying these fundamental principles, you will be able to improve your customer support and your customers’ satisfaction with your company and product. Even if you have an exceptional product to offer, that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have the system to back it up. A successful company should have both to maximize their customer retention and strive for long-term success.
Mike MacPherson is Director of Sales and Marketing for VBO Tickets. Mike is a passionate, proven leader of sales and marketing, with three decades of experience in motivating and leading sales/marketing teams. His most recent success was helping guide VBO Tickets through the dramatic circumstances resulting in the shutdown of event venues and ticketing sales in response to safety measures from the Covid-19 pandemic.