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For a startup or small business, customer support can make all the difference. Although big companies may have greater resources and staff, startups can make a niche for themselves by approaching customers in a more personal way. A good customer support strategy should foster your personal relationships with your customers, encouraging brand loyalty and increasing future sales retention. Here are four essential things to keep in mind…
Emails and letters from large companies tend to be standardized and overly formal. As a small business owner, you can set yourself apart by going the other way. Let your personality shine through in your messaging and you will make a real impact with people. On top of this, you should aim to personalize each message in some way: customers always remember businesses that treat them like the individuals that they are.
For a small business, automated email and phone messages could be a big mistake. Clients love the personal touch, and it helps to set you apart from the crowd. It can be difficult to respond to every single call or email, but the shortest reply can go a long way. Customers really appreciate it when they feel their concerns are being listened to by someone who wants to help them. In particular, clients like talking to managers directly: something that is a lot easier for startups to provide than much larger businesses. Alternatively, you could share out customer support responsibilities between your whole team. This can save on time and resources, whilst allowing everyone to get a fully rounded view of your product and its current challenges.
Whilst pushing for new customers can help you grow, you need to remember to consolidate the gains you make along the way. Remembering your existing customers and checking in with them regularly is one of the best ways to do this. Reaching out with even the briefest of emails or phone calls helps to make your customers feel more engaged in your business, making them more likely to want to work with you again. Even better, it gives you the opportunity to get their feedback on your service so far to help you improve your offering.
Social media is now an essential for every startup. Whilst your business may not suit itself to a presence on every social network, a company Twitter account can open up an easy-to-use support channel for your customers. Of course, the public nature of Twitter has its drawbacks. If customers have a complex question or complaint, ask them to continue the conversation via email so you can give more in-depth support out of the public eye.
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