Owning a small business is a great way for aspiring entrepreneurs to break free from the corporate world and actually enjoy what they do for a living. While an escape from the corporate landscape is refreshing, the small business world relies a lot more heavily on the friendly aspects of customer service and hospitality. Here are some of the biggest distractions small business owners can face while trying to provide the best customer service:
Phone Calls from Nowhere
Imagine yourself as the owner of a small fishing and hunting store. You are really engaged with an experienced deep-sea fisherman who is considering purchasing the works in order to prepare for his next adventure; new rods, hooks, bait, trolls, clothing, and safety gear. You are really getting into it with this guy while the phone at the front counter starts ringing. You politely excuse yourself, but miss the call from someone using an anonymous ID service. The phone keeps ringing and you have no idea who just called you. While you are distracted by the anonymous caller, you lose your catch, and the fisherman walks out the door. You just fell victim to a phone call from nowhere.
You aren’t the only one distracted by the phone, employees are also at constant distraction when they carry their phones with them. They might not be constantly calling their friends, they could be texting, Facebooking, Tweeting, etc…
To cut down on phone nuisances, keep your main phone on silent when dealing with important customers, have your employees keep their phones in the back office, and politely dismiss telemarketers and pranksters.
Too Needy Customers
Unlike the fisherman who knew what he was talking about, sometimes you’ll get customers who have no idea what they are even doing in the store. Every two minutes they may ask you a question, or want to see something, or even start complaining for no good reason. You can’t yell at them or ignore them for fear of negative backlash, but you need to get rid of them because they are hindering your business.
According to Psychology Today, the best thing to do to these types of customers is to use reverse psychology and kill them with kindness. Usually pesky people have defiant personality types and will go out of their way to make life harder for others. By acting extremely kind to them you will force them to reconsider their actions and lessen the chance of receiving a bad review online.
Pesky Administrative Tasks
Say you open up your own small graphic design shop after working for an advertising agency for years. You already have an expansive list of clients, a couple of proposals and prospects, and no shortage of work in sight. You finish your first few projects and realize you have no idea how to bill for your work because there was always an accountant or administrative professional at the office.
Make sure to install the best software for your computer in order to save time on office administration. Quickbooks is the standard for accounting processes, and Microsoft Access is an excellent tool for managing databases. While sending bills and letters out to clients, make sure to have a pre-made template handy and your own customized stationery for faster delivery. Also, be sure to keep your desktop organized and know exactly where your most important files are.
Small business may be a good gateway from escaping the corporate world, but it is not a way out of the customer service sector. Be sure to follow these tips and you will have a better small business experience which will lead to greater profits.