Owners of successful small companies understand the benefits of having an excellent team of customer representatives. They know that a team capable of handling calls with courtesy and efficiency will help to establish a favorable reputation for the company. Below are 4 Customer Service Skills for Your Home-Based Business.
When running a home-based business, (especially in the beginning stages of a start-up company) many of us do not have a team of customer service representatives to answer our incoming calls. With that being said, we still need to portray a professional outlook to our clients even if we are a one mans show so to speak. Below, are tips that will allow you to stay personal, yet professional:
1. Voice mail
Let's face it. Many of us are too busy to answer incoming calls all day. However, with the power of voice mail we can create a professional message to let our customers know that although we are not available to answer a call at the moment, they can leave a message and their call will be returned as soon as possible. The operative word here is "as soon as possible." This allows you to call them back at your earliest convenience. Remember, no one likes to wait so it is imperative that you return their call right away. Manage your voice mail messages efficiently and preferably before the end of the day!
Contrary to popular belief, many people still use email as a form of communication. Use this option as an alternative to stay in touch with your customer base as well. Basically, the same thing applies as the voice mail tip above. You want to check your emails through out your day and respond with a personalized helpful reply. This tactic is important to your business success.
3. Contact form
Your business website should have a contact form for visitors to connect with you. A contact form will give a visitor to your site an easy and fast way to leave a question about a product/service which your business may offer. There are many contact form plug-ins that generate a code that allows you to insert into your site. Currently, I use foxy form with integrated anti-spam protection. But the list of contact forms are endless. Find one that works well on your website and most of all for your business. Work smarter not harder.
4. Answering service
Another great alternative is an answering service. Have you ever called a business only to hear an answering service pick up because the staff is either out to lunch or in a meeting? An answering service might be the answer for you if you're super busy. A business friend of mine uses GabbyVille Inc. and swears by it. The way they work is their Gabbonista (as they call themselves) will professionally greet and screen callers. They will gather important call detail information, relay messages promptly, and even transfer calls to you if you are available to talk. Make sure to test out what will work. Currently, they are offering a 7-day free trail.
A small company with first-rate customer service leaves callers with a favorable impression. Callers appreciate when their concerns and questions are handled in a polite, professional manner. They know that if they need to stay in touch , they will receive the same competent service even if your business is run from home. Excellent customer service skills leaves them with an overall positive impression of you and your business. This is a big advantage especially for a home-based business that is just starting out.
Finally, responding to customers in a quick and professional manner helps a business avoid getting a reputation for sloppy order taking, lack of customer attention, etc. Provide accurate company information, due diligence and your business will prosper.
Now it's your turn. Are you using the above 4 Customer Service Skills for Your Home-Based Business? Please comment below.
About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom and biz owner at Books About Me. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter.