4 Customer Service Tips to Live By

November 3, 2015


This post is contributed Square. Square creates the tools businesses need to unlock the value of every sale.

Customer service is paramount to your success as a small business. You can have an amazing product, but if the word on the street is that shopping with you is an unpleasant experience, you’re going to lose out on sales. Here are some customer service tips to help make sure customers keep coming back.

Listen to your feedback

The first step to great customer service is being aware of what’s being said about your business. Are there things people like? Keep doing them. Things they don’t? Find a way to fix them. You can get this feedback from a number of different places. Take a good, hard look at social media, which is the most visible place people can see commentary about your business. Yelp is the biggie here, obviously, but it’s also important to keep an eye on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. If you’re selling with Square, make sure to carefully review all the feedback you got that day through Square Feedback. If you have a lot of frowny faces, figure out what went wrong and how you can improve. If there are a bunch of smilies, you know you’re doing something right.

Engage with your customers

Forming meaningful relationships with your customers not only makes your job more rewarding, it also gives people more of a connection to your business. Make sure you give every customer personalized attention, and if you start to spot regulars, learn their names and get their orders down pat.
This type of relationship building should extend online, too. Be sure to respond to each and every Yelp review — negative or positive. (Read some tips on how to respond to negative Yelp reviews.) When people tag you on social media, respond to them in a timely way with personalized messages. In Square Feedback, you can have a one-on-one conversation with your customers. So if someone leaves you a comment, be sure to respond.

You should also make sure you’re proactively reaching out and engaging with customers. If you’re having a friends-and-family event or a holiday promotion, let them be the first ones to hear about it. Square’s email marketing software makes it easy to quickly spin up and send out beautiful messages. The tool automatically segments your lists into loyal, casual, and lapsed customers, so you can be targeted about which messages you’re sending to which audiences. It also comes packed with templates for events, announcements, and sales.

Personalize products and services

You want your customers to feel special. So go the extra mile with personal touches and individual care. If you’re online, offer ways to customize products and services (like monograms or custom fabrics). If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, act like a personal concierge. Make sure you have bottles of water or tea and coffee (or perhaps wine?) in case customers are thirsty. Offer free gift wrapping during the holidays. Invite people who have shopped with you to an exclusive sneak peek of your new line. All of these little touches go a long way.

Offer more than is expected and reward your regular customers

When it comes to expectations, people, well, they expect them to be met. Anything less might get you a bad review. But anything more, and you’ve created a memorable experience that will keep people coming back. Going above and beyond could be as simple as handing out free samples while people wait in line or thanking loyal customers with a Square gift card around the holidays. Offer punch card programs for regulars — everyone likes to be rewarded with a freebie — and organize exclusive VIP events to thank frequent customers.

So, what’s the main takeaway? Treat customers as you would like to be treated, and you’ll be well on your way to a customer base who could help evangelize your brand.

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