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. 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 as a home business, and the points below will help prove that to you.
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, yes, 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.
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 robo 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!
Take Charge Over 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 over your delivery options, and offer as many as you can. Small time couriers are good for the local area, but shipping long term may 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 and/or whole new product that they need. 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.