4 Ways Small Businesses Can Outshine Corporate Giants In Customer Service!

A big dog with a little kitten
Image by Vicki Hamilton from Pixabay

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been dealing with big companies that lacked adequate customer service as I tackled a large project for a client. It was like navigating a maze of dead ends.

Reaching a real person by phone was not an option, and scouring through community forums only revealed a frustrating tale of unaddressed customer requests for essential features. It became clear that we needed to explore alternative solutions to meet my client’s needs.

As a small business, we possess a unique advantage over the big guys. While they may boast hefty advertising budgets, we excel in building personal relationships and delivering top-notch customer service, which can leave them in the dust.

Here are a few strategies to outshine these larger companies:

1. Be easily reachable: Answering the phone sets you apart. Understandably, as busy entrepreneurs, we may not always be able to pick up immediately. However, ensuring that your voicemail is set up and not full is crucial. Remember to listen to messages and return calls promptly. This simple gesture speaks volumes compared to the larger companies’ automated systems.

Scheduling time to return phone calls can make all the difference. If you’re overwhelmed by the phone, try a local call center or hire someone to help answer your phones.

2. Respond promptly to emails: In today’s digital age, timely email responses will be greatly appreciated. Aim to reply within 24 hours. If you’re unavailable due to travel or personal reasons, set up an autoresponder letting them know the length of your absence and when you expect to return. This reassures clients that their inquiries are valued and will be addressed promptly.

3. Work towards solutions: When faced with a customer problem, communicate transparently about the expected response time. Assure them that you’re actively seeking a resolution and provide updates on an ongoing basis. Even if you don’t know the answer, connecting them with someone who can further assist them shows them you’re on their team.

Don’t neglect networking and having 1:1’s with other professionals you meet, so you can be a valuable resource for your clients, even when you don’t have the answer.

4. Personalize your interactions: Small businesses have the advantage of being able to offer a more personal touch than larger corporations. Take the time to learn your customers’ names, preferences, and personal struggles. 

There’s a saying, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Personalized interactions foster stronger connections, build trust, and help your business outshine the big companies and their lack of personal customer service.

Here’s where a CRM can come in handy to help you remember the small details, so you can reach out and let them know you do care.

By prioritizing these four practices, you’ll distinguish yourself from the competition and ensure that your business remains top of mind whenever your clients need help.

What are some unique strategies you use to provide exceptional customer service?

When was the last time a big company referred you to someone else who could help you?

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