A small business has a lot of disadvantages over larger companies. Limited cash flow, fewer employees to manage various tasks and an owner who must stay on top of everything. Customer service is another area that is critical to the success of small businesses – perhaps even more so than with larger companies. Here is why.
Bigger doesn’t always mean better, but it often means better known and better able to respond to customers’ needs. Thanks to the internet, small local businesses don’t just compete against other local companies. They must beat out global competition. It may be the business in another part of the city or clear across the world.
A small business must stand out in the way they respond to their customers. A large company often automates its methods to reduce cost and provide products and services to a wide customer base. The only way a smaller company can compete is by providing exceptional customer service that stands out from larger companies.
Customers today want to know they matter. They are more than just a number or name. A small company can provide that personal contact and get to know the face behind the name. A local coffee shop will know what flavor coffee a customer wants or a server at a restaurant will know which table a regular customer prefers.
Offering personalized customer service is one way smaller companies can promote themselves. They can seldom produce goods or services at a lower cost than larger companies, which means they have to charge a higher price. To compete against those larger organizations, they must offer something extra. They have to make the customer feel special.
Creating a Niche
For small businesses, they must carve out a niche to ensure survival. This means winning over customers and creating a loyal base. They cannot afford to be insensitive to the needs of their customers or to adopt a standardized approach. Instead, they must pursue the goal of building exceptional customer service that will bring people back to them again and again.
For some, it may mean they provide delivery while others may offer another special feature or benefit. The way to build a reputation for solid customer service is to find out what customers want and expect, and then to over-deliver. Always provide more than they ask for.
The only way a small business can compete against large companies is by offering a better customer experience. To achieve this, they may outsource the call centre or train call centre agents to respond to customer needs. From the owner down to the entry-level employee, everyone must have the same attitude and goals.
When a small business builds its reputation as a company that cares about customers, it will develop a loyal following that will beat out larger organizations. The key for these small companies is to know where they can excel and to put time and money into those areas and ensure long-term success.
Ashley Meszaros is the Owner/President of We An-Ser Communications in Calgary. We An-Ser Communications provides award winning call center services in Calgary, dispatching, medical answering services, man down services, lone worker support, wireless panic services and more. They service the North American market.