Customer Service Is Where Small Business Can Really Shine
On the internet, your rival is not just the shop down the street but also mega-stores around the world. When the playing field is so not level, how can small biz compete?
Bigger companies have bigger budgets. It’s just a fact of life. Drawing from their deep pockets, CEOs spend serious money developing marketing campaigns, buying ads, and offering sale incentives. Small biz owners may not be able to meet or exceed the financial resources of big companies, but customer service is one place where small biz competes head-to-head – and even wins.
A study done by Microsoft reported that “96% of consumers say customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand.” Just think back to your own brand loyalties for personal confirmation. Here in the office, we recently had two very distinct experiences with customer service that you can probably relate to.
Down-sizing from the long-time family home, but not ready yet to re-purchase, Don and Kate wanted to find a good place to invest the proceeds for the short term. After extensive research, they chose an online investment firm but hit a snag while filling in the required information. The FAQ page did not address the error and at the bottom of the page, there was a form to request help.
The form was unnecessarily complicated and the drop-down choices were inaccurate, but send the form they did. Immediately, they received an auto-response (Yay!) that told them to read the FAQ page (Boo!). Don and Kate responded politely to re-explain the issue.
There was no response the next day, so they emailed again. Another day passed, and then several more days. In all, this fancy-schmancy online investment firm took eight days to respond to a simple question! Not what we would call exceptional customer service.
Also during that time, Kate received an email from a rebate app with a link to a questionnaire. The link didn’t work, and being a web development team member, she shot an email back to let them know. They replied immediately with a personal thank you and a modest credit on her account. When she thanked them for the credit, they replied yet again. Now that is exceptional customer service!
It’s not hard to figure out which company inspired the most loyalty, even though it only involved a very small transaction. And every business, no matter how small, can reap the same rewards by prioritizing exceptional customer service. Service starts at the top, with the business owner, so it becomes natural for other team members to follow suit.
Sprocket Websites strives every day to provide customers with personalized service beyond what bigger companies can offer. If you’re fed up with impersonal or even outright bad service, give us a call. We’re happy to talk to you about how we can take care of your website design and hosting needs!
Image “Serving,” by Haridass, licensed under CCBY 2.0