Small business is the backbone of the economy; according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses, defined as any business with under 500 employees, account for 99.7% of all employers. There's no denying, though, that owning or overseeing a small business can be difficult, given that there are many things to do to ensure operational efficiency and a finite amount of time and resources to accomplish them.
Due to this, customer relationships are extremely valuable for the long-term sustainability of small business. As explored in Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance by Paul W. Farris, et. al., it is about 50% easier to retain an existing customer than capture a new one. In addition, Bain and Company states that a 5% increase in retention can increase profitability by 75%. These statistics demonstrate that while getting new business is no less important, it may be worth considering leveraging relationships with existing customers.
Can Outsourcing Customer Service Help?
One of the most surefire ways to build upon existing relationships with customers is by offering great customer service. However, what constitutes great customer service, and how can it be consistently delivered with dozens of other things to do? Depending on the size of your small business, it may be worth outsourcing your customer service efforts to a group of professionals. If a business is only staffed by a handful of people, however, it may be jarring to make a phone call and reach someone you're not familiar with. While outsourcing customer service efforts can certainly be an effective tactic, you need to make sure it makes sense for your business.
How Can You Control Customer Perception?
Customer service also suffers from a bit of a perception problem; it's not enough for you to think that you are delivering great service. The customer is the one who needs to believe that the service they're receiving is fantastic. According to Help Scout, the average business only hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers, so the onus is on a small business to ensure that their customers are happy with their service standards. Many businesses are using technological innovations in order to better track their interactions with their customers, as there are many relationship nuances that a mere occasional survey isn't able to tell you.
A Call Answering Service Can Help
By utilizing an inbound call centre, you have the opportunity to hear every interaction with your customers, and better understand them as individuals. Even in an increasingly text-based society, tone of voice and cadence are powerful tools to strengthen a relationship, and by offering customers an opportunity to talk to a live person as opposed to leaving a message or sending an email, you are demonstrating that you care about their specific needs and are creating additional value in the relationship.
As a small business ourselves, the Telelink team understands the specific challenges you may be facing in trying to communicate more effectively with your customers. Contact us today to take control of your customer service.