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Customer Service Breakdown : 5 TIPS To Elevate Customer Service Experience For Your Small Business

Owning a small business means that your journey with customer service got a whole lot more hands on.


Truthfully, customer service may be one of the most challenging things about running your own business, at least for us. Sadiee & I have very different personalities and react differently to things. I take things a bit more personally than Sadiee, especially when it comes to customer service! It has taken a couple of years to understand what works so that WE nor our customers get frustrated.


You are in the right place if you want to elevate your customer service game and be prepared for "that" email...


No.01

The customer is not always right. This does not translate to "eff them I'm right"- it means that if you have clear policies and standards in place for your small business meant to protect its integrity, then it needs to be respectfully and clearly communicated! This is why before you launch any product or service based business you have your terms & conditions laid out, and if possible acknowledged because any engagement between you and the customer. Something to always remember: not every single customer you encounter will love you or your business- does it hurt? Yes, but it's a fact.

If you know how to communicate the proper way with customers and diffuse situations merely with facts, you will drastically reduce issues.


No.02

Set boundaries. NO you are NOT available 24/7, nor should you be! Even if you run an online small business, that does not mean that you should be responding to emails at 11PM at night! It is ok, and absolutely necessary to be clear about your business hours. The best way to do this is by setting an away message on your email, trust us -EVERYTHING and more will be there tomorrow! With all that being said, you do need to have a clear turnaround window. If you are asking for respect for your time on your customers' end it is only fair that you do the same. During "low volume times" 24-48 business hours is the standard we go by, if that ever changes we try our best to communicate that ASAP either with an email OR our away message!


No.03

Policies should come BEFORE the problem. This one is HUGE and one to remember before launching your business. It may seem super negative, but it is a proactive solution to avoid dealing with any potential issues (like mentioned in No.01!) Have your policies in place for any scenario before the "issue" even arises.


For example [PRODUCT BASED BUSINESS]:

The issue: Uh-oh your customer ordered the wrong tee size , now what?

Build your policy base: In order how to decide the best way to handle this is to ask yourself these three questions

1. How much will this cost me?

2. Can I restock this item and resell it?

3. Is it even possible to get the customer the correct size?


For example [SERVICE BASED BUSINESS]:

The issue: Your client asks if they can add a project on with a turnaround time of 24 hours, now what?

Build your policy base: In order how to decide the best way to handle this is to ask yourself these three questions

1. How long would this project take me?

2. Do I have the bandwidth to complete this project in 24? Do I need more notice?

3. Will this extra time need to be covered with a fee?


After you answer these types of questions, it will give you a VERY solid framework on your back-end and shop need to operate that will benefit both your business and the customer.


No.04

Show your human side. This one isn't always popular and definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but we firmly believe that as a small business it is vital to be transparent and personal with how you handle customer service. Sometimes it is okay to be vulnerable, there is no need to pretend that your small business doesn't get impacted by L I F E! In 2022, Sadiee and I have even begun to handle our customer service responses differently than how we would have 3 years ago. Instead of a quick and cold "We are out of the office." it's turned into a "We're doing XYZ because XYZ and we'll get back to you XYZ!" Can you guess which one gets a better reactions? Your customers cannot be mad for telling the truth, and if the do then they are not your ideal customer.


No.05

Save your responses to topics you always get asked via email. This one may not seem obvious, but it is one that many often forget about! This can save SO much headache, especially on days when your email inbox is overly full or maybe you just don't have the headspace to answer the same question 200 times in a day. Our best tip is SAVING the responses you seem to send all the time in one place. SUPERBLOOM TIP: If you use Google Mail there is a button specifically for saved templates!


So go forth and do not worry about handling your customer service emails! You ARE fully equipped to handle any email that lands in your inbox. It is something that becomes second nature with time! And don't forget... just because you are a small business owner, does not mean that your business can bend and break solid terms, conditions, and policies.


Be inspired,

Lola & Sadiee



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