One of the great advantages of running a small business is that you are never too far removed from your customers. While the department heads of big corporations make big decisions based on second-hand insights and assumptions, the small business owner is uniquely placed to interact regularly with staff and clientele alike. Even if you don’t maintain a customer-facing role yourself, you’re probably no more than one degree removed from someone who does – and if you know what’s good for your business, you’ll make an effort to check in with the public face of your business each week. But are you making the most of this great opportunity?
Despite the growing scale of bigger businesses and the greater physical distances from which companies now operate, good customer service has become a more intimate affair than ever. The unique power of the internet is that everyone has a voice, while anonymity remains an option for all. In other words, your customers are free to speak openly and honestly about their experience with your business, whether it’s an online operation or based in bricks-and-mortar premises.
Your job as a small business owner in the 21st century is to ensure that when they use this voice, they talk to you first. Your reputation is at stake if you don’t create a rapport of loyalty, trust and accessibility with your customers. If they complain, you want them to complain to you – not publicly on Twitter. If they have praise, you want them to want to share it with the world. They will only do this if they are emotionally engaged with you and your team.
For some great tips on how to create this intimate atmosphere with your customers, check out Headway Capital’s new infographic below. It’s packed with insights and ideas on how to make the most of your B2C relationships from your vantage point as a small business. These small but meaningful changes can give your company the edge it needs over the slow-moving giants around you.
G John Cole is a digital nomad and freelance writer. Specialising in leadership, digital media and personal growth, his passions include world cinema and biscuits. A native Englishman, he is always on the move, but can most commonly be spotted in Norway, the UK and the Balkans.