The Role of Customer Service for the Small Business Entrepreneur

As a small business entrepreneur, have you noticed there just arenít that many companies out there boasting about their great customer service? Thatís because most arenít coming close to providing even mediocre customer service, much less the outstanding kind of service that should be a given in any small business, especially for the up-and-coming entrepreneur.

Here are some things a savvy entrepreneur needs to keep in mind when attempting to build customer service for a small business:

Inform customers right away that as a small business, you are interested in a long-term relationship with them. This lets them know youíre not just another fly-by-night, so-called entrepreneur out for the quick buck ó that your staff are professional and prepared to solve their problems. To be able to do this, your staff must realize that major portions of their responsibilities working at your small business require solving customer problems and assisting customers as needed.

Think in terms, as an entrepreneur, of cultivating relationships with customers, but not just the average vendor/customer association. Customers buy from people in a small business they like ó and can trust. A crucial variable in your world as an entrepreneur is people. The excellence of the people dealing directly with your customers clearly differentiates you from your competitors. Establish high expectations from the beginning with regard to your small business sales force in developing positive customer relationships.

A successful entrepreneur continually endeavors to distinguish a product or service from the competitionís. Your goal is to stay in the lead with a product or service that functions better or provides more customer benefits. Establish a perceived value in your customerís viewpoint that makes your product or small business service more valuable to them than the same things from your competitors.

A small business can take advantage of its smallness to service the customer at exceptionally high levels. To do this, though, your course of action must be streamlined, your customer-interacting staff must possess excellent customer service skills, and you must build an atmosphere where high-level customer service is not only expected, but required. To do well as an entrepreneur, nothing can replace outstanding customer service.

Think long-term for your small business. You need stability in your customer base. Pass up those quick sales made only for revenue generation. Instead, develop strong working relationships with customers, and the sales will follow. Short-term mentalities hallmark the short-term entrepreneur.

An entrepreneur in the race for the duration knows to provide customers a way to easily and conveniently give feedback. Promote contact from your customers by opening your door to freely discussed opinions, problems, or concerns they may have ó or with a compliment that can be passed on at your small business to a staff member for a job well done.

A small business setting that insists on high accountability, high performance, high morale and high productivity are your goals. And a well-trained, productive staff that excels in customer service provides a major steppingstone toward building ó and keeping ó business for the smart entrepreneur.

In summary, excellent customer service at a small business takes work and constant attention. Your staff plays an integral role in establishing customer loyalty by their attention and service. By making sure they fully understand their roles in building strong, long-term relationships with customers, you are well on the road to becoming a successful, small business entrepreneur.


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