4 ways your small business can deliver great customer service

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By Henry Brown

As a small business owner, delivering a premium level of customer service is a priority that can never be compromised. Many customers are perfectly willing to walk away from a business that displays poor examples of customer care – such as long waiting times for telephone services, lack of empathy, or poorly informed staff.

Essentially, all of your customer-facing processes must contribute to customer satisfaction. It can cost your business dearly if you ignore this aspect of your operations and fail to meet your client’s expectations. With that said, here are some ways that your small business can consistently deliver great customer service.

1) Appreciation

First and foremost, good customer service should treat the consumer or client with respect. On the one hand, this includes being polite – employees in customer service positions  should be friendly and not rush the customers if possible. Clients seeking advice should leave feeling convinced that your business takes them seriously. This also means that service employees should listen carefully to problems and should not interrupt the customer.

Therefore, pre-formulated standard answers are therefore an absolute no-no in strengthening customer service and relations. Additionally, evasive answers reflect an unauthentic brand that lacks a personal touch and leaves customers feeling unclear and devalued.

2) Competence

Closely related to the first point of appreciation is the competence of your customer service personnel. They should be well versed in the subject and, if possible, not give wrong or conflicting information.

When a customer seeks advice about your products or services, there is nothing more frustrating than receiving incorrect instructions on how to deal with an issue, for example. It becomes even more annoying when another member of staff gives a completely different piece of advice for the exact same issue.

Essentially, all staff must be well trained and receive continuous training as your business evolves.

3) Communication skills

Whether it’s on the phone, email, or webchat, customer service employees should have extremely good communication skills. This includes expressing yourself in an understandable way, preferably in short sentences. On the other hand, clear pronunciation on the phone is essential to facilitate communication with the other person.

The same applies to written communication, which should also be error-free. Ensure that your automated reply emails and website text are always professionally written.

4) Accessibility

Another crucial factor that reflects great customer service is the ease of accessibility. For example, telephone hotlines should be easy to reach during the day. A hotline whose lines are only open between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. makes it difficult for those seeking advice to make contact and can lead to frustration.

Be sure to show your customers that you are easily reachable. Also, choose the best mode of accessibility for your particular business. Whilst it’s relatively straightforward for many businesses to operate remotely these days, in many industries, face-to-face human contact within a more appropriate environment is critical to business success.

For example, a legal practice may choose to set up a physical law firm office space for the client-facing front end of its business. This makes the company more accessible within an appropriate corporate environment that meets client expectations.

5) Speed

Good customer service does not only depend on the employees. The framework around ‘speed of delivery’ also determines how satisfied a customer is with the service. This includes the time it takes to find a solution to a problem. At all costs, make it your business priority to avoid long waiting times – whether on the phone, in a chat or by e-mail.

If your employee needs to consult with a colleague or supervisor, the waiting time should be as short as possible. Additionally, the working speed of your customer service employees also plays a big role, for example, when entering data into a form.

Referring people to different colleagues can also put a strain on the patience of those seeking advice. Not only does important time pass here, but the customer also has to describe his or her situation again and again.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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