As a home business owner, you know that communication and customer service is key. You need to be able to get your message across to your customers in a way that they understand and are receptive to. There are many different ways to do this, but not all of them will work for every customer. You also need great communication channels when it comes to the customer service side of your company. But how can you manage all this when you are merely a home business? This blog post will discuss the most effective ways to get information across to your customers and how to provide the best customer service, even as a home business.
Customer service and communication when you are a small home business (or even a one-man band!)
If you’re running a business out of your own home, you can feel at a disadvantage. Yes, you’re living the ultimate remote work life and able to sell to people all over the world! But you’re also coming up against other businesses who have full work premises and a full staff board, and that can make you feel like the odd one out.
And never is this more true than when it comes to your customer service and how you are able to communicate to your customers. You can’t run a 24/7 desk to see to customer disputes like a bigger company could - you’re just one person! Which is why we need to find some workarounds here. It’s not impossible to provide a reliable customer service and communication as a home business, and the points below will help prove that to you.
How to reliably do customer service as a home business
- Make your customer service options clear
If you’ve got a customer service desk, let people know about it! It might be small right now and only manned by you, but being clear and honest is the best way forward. If people can get in touch easily, they won’t worry about your legitimacy as a business and will be less likely to leave a negative review in the end.
Signpost your details on your website, usually at the bottom of your homepage. Let people know if you’ve got a number or email address for direct contact, or post a live chat link they can queue for. Let them know your opening times and how long your usual response time is.
- Use a robo-chat as an intermediary
Putting a live chat option on your website is half the battle when it comes to convenient customer service. People hate having to get on the phone and speak to someone in person, and allowing them to simply open up a box on your website’s homepage goes a long way to creating goodwill.
However, it’s going to be hard to man this box yourself. You may get upwards of 50 contacts a day through your live chat, and no person out there can keep up with that on their own. So use a robot chat here; set it up to send people to relevant FAQs that could help, and only allow through the people who really need to talk to you. It’s much easier to sort through an inbox than it is a small chat window!
Make it easy for them to speak to a person if they need to though. There’s nothing more frustrating than going through a robo-chat for it to be ended and the issue not be resolved and never being able to talk to a real human being!
- Take charge of delivery options
In business, the majority of customer service complaints are due to shipping issues. And as a home-based business, this can be a worry. People can lose their orders for any number of reasons, and often long before the shipment has even reached their house. And this is not to mention just how many items may turn up damaged and/or completely broken!
So take charge of your delivery options, and offer as many as you can. Small-time couriers are good for the local area, but shipping long haulmay require a chain. Set this up reliably. Pack in bulk, look up pallet collection prices, and don’t just pay for the cheapest option. You’ll need to invest in this side of your business for better long-term success.
- Be generous on social media
Social media is the best place to get one-on-one with your customers. It’s also where they’re most likely to complain to you about any problems. This means you’ll need to be quick on the draw, and get to them as soon as they come to you.
Don’t let a complaint sit. Be friendly yet professional, and ask for them to use private messaging as much as possible. Once you’re there, you can do some real customer service work.
- Be liberal with your resolutions
Reliable customer service is one that comes to a solution quickly and easily. As such, be liberal with the resolutions you offer. As a small, home-based business, you’ll need to impress your customer base more than any other company out there, and this is one of the best ways to do that.
If someone wants a refund, don’t make it hard to get one. If someone needs something replaced, be generous and send out the parts or the whole new product if needed and they are able to send satisfactory proof of the issue. Above all, let people know that someone reliable and friendly is behind the business, as news of this will spread like wildfire!
If you want to provide a reliable customer service desk, all you need is a bit of foresight. Use tips like these to help you keep up with customer demand without entering into negative territory.
Tips for getting your business messages to your cusomers
When trying to get a specific message across to your customers, it is crucial that you understand how to properly communicate with them. This could be for anything such as appointment times, closing dates and times, or even just a change in policy. The following tips will help you bridge the communication gap and get your message across more effectively.
Use clear and concise language:
When you are communicating with your customers, it is important to use language that they will understand. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that they may not be familiar with. Instead, use simple words and sentences to get your point across. This will help ensure that they receive the information in the way that you intended.
If you must use technical terms, be sure to explain them in a way that is easy to understand. For example, if you are discussing your company's product roadmap, you could say, "Our product roadmap is a list of the products and features we plan to release in the future. This helps our customers know what to expect from us and when to expect it."
Humans are visual creatures, and we tend to remember things better when a relevant image accompanies them. When you're trying to communicate something important to your customers, consider using charts, graphs, or other visuals to help get your point across. Not everyone is going to be interested in reading a long-winded email or blog post, so try to make your message as concise as possible. Use bullet points or numbered lists to break down your information into manageable chunks, and make sure to use language that is easy to understand.
If you have a lot of complex information to communicate, consider breaking it up into smaller pieces and releasing it over time. This will help ensure that your customers have the time and energy to process everything you're trying to tell them.
Handy communication tools for a home business to a customer
There are various ways to communicate with your customers, and finding the one that works best for you is vital to maintaining a healthy relationship. If you're not sure where to start, here are ten of the best ways to get information across to your customers:
This is perhaps the most obvious method of communication, but it's also one of the most effective. Talking to your customers one-on-one gives you the opportunity to really get to know them and build a rapport. It also allows you to answer any questions they might have and address any concerns directly.
Social media is a great way to connect with your customers and build a community around your brand. It's also an excellent platform for sharing news, announcing promotions, and providing customer support. In addition, social media allows you to connect with your customers on a more personal level, which can help build loyalty and trust. Some of the most popular social media platforms for businesses are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Emails are great for building relationships as well as sending information. You can segment your list to send targeted emails relevant to each group, which helps build trust with your subscribers. Plus, you can automate your email marketing to stay in touch with your customers without putting in a lot of extra work. This is one of the most effective ways to get information across to your customers.
Automated calls are an easy way to get in touch with your customers without actually having to speak to them. This can be a great way to get information about appointments or closing times out to your customer base without having to spend time on the phone. An automated calling system can save you so much time and money by contacting your entire client base within minutes.
Text messaging is a great way to communicate with customers. It's quick and efficient, and most people always have their phones on them. You can use text messages to send reminders, updates, or even coupons. Just ensure you don't overdo it – no one wants to be bombarded with texts all day long.
Live chat is a great way to provide customer support and answer any questions your customers might have. Using live chat on your website or in your app can help you quickly resolve customer issues and answer their questions in real-time. You can also use live chat to proactively reach out to customers who might need assistance. For example, if you see that a customer is having trouble completing a purchase on your website, you can reach out to them through live chat and offer help.
Push notifications are a great way to send timely information to your customers. You can use push notifications to let your customers know about new products, sales, or even special events. Customers can opt-in to receive push notifications from your business, so they'll always be in the know. You'll need to create a notification campaign to get started with push notifications. You can use a tool like NotifyMe to create and manage your notification campaigns.
There are so many different ways to communicate with your customers. The best way to find out what works for you is to experiment and see what gets the best results. Try out a few of the methods listed above and see how your customers respond. Remember, communication is key to maintaining a healthy relationship with your customers. So, don't be afraid to reach out and let them know what's going on with your business.