This self-paced training exercise is an introduction to customer service and how it impacts your business. Topics include: Defining what good customer service is, implementing good customer service, and how to improve customer service.
Duration of the course: 00:30:00
System Requirements: Adobe Flash Player.
Due to Flash limitations, This course will only play in iOS tablets or mobile devices with additional software installation. Look for Apps on the Apple App store that enable flash playing on IOS devices.
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This course will address four areas on why customer service is critical for small business and ways a small business can improve customer service:
· Why should I implement good customer service?
· How can I improve customer service?
· Are there other actions I can take?
Numerous additional resources are identified to assist you. Visit the resource icon in the course player or locate additional tools, templates, and mentors on SBA.gov once you finish the course.
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1.4 Expanding World Markets
Good customer service is critical for your small business. Many customers complain, but many others just don’t come back, and then they spread their message to others. Social networking and the internet take customer concerns and complaints to an enormous audience.
1.5 Customer Service is Critical
Customer service is critical when competing with large businesses. It can be difficult to compete with large businesses in terms of purchasing power and pricing; small businesses have the opportunity to leverage the small, personal nature of their businesses to provide exceptional customer service.
An American Express study revealed that 70 percent of consumers would be willing to pay higher prices at a business that offered good customer service. Eighty one percent of consumers believe that small businesses generally offer superior customer service than larger businesses do.
1.6 Establishing Customer Service Best Practices
How can you ensure your customer service standards surpass expectations? First, assess your current level of service.
Where is your location? Does your business have an office or is it online?
How accessible are you? Do your customers interact with live people or are your systems automated? What message does that send to your customers?
Are you personally represented to your customers? Are you the “face” of your business?
How clear are your mission, vision, and values to your customers?
What does customer service mean in your industry? What do customers expect when they approach a business like yours?
These are only a few of the questions you should be asking when assessing your customer service standards. To begin, you must commit to good customer service, and then communicate that commitment to your customers and staff.
1.7 Aspects of Customer Service
Customer service is about more than solving problems. There are several different aspects of customer service, including:
· First Impressions
· Effective Communication
· Building Relationships
· Customer Complaints
The following pages will discuss these aspects of customer service and the best practices that can be established for each.
1.8 First Impressions
First impressions are listed as the first aspect of customer service in this course because they set the stage for all future interactions with each customer. Customers need to have a positive experience in their first interaction with your business.
This includes the courtesy of your employees, the ease of access to your location, both online and in office, and establishing a good attitude from the outset.
To create good first impressions, consider the golden rule, and how you would prefer to be treated when you go to any business. You must demonstrate that your customers are valued in your business.
Start with your employees:
· Hire kind and competent employees that can learn needed skills rather than attempting to alter the attitudes of technically skilled employees
· Train employees well
· Treat employees well and they will treat your customers well
· Provide timely and constructive feedback
· Be open and honest and
· Incentivize best practices
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