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Encompass® Insurance Insights & Articles

Grow Your Business Without Hurting Customer Service

It's a classic catch-22 for some small businesses: You're ready to scale your business but worried that doing so will distract your focus away from your current clients. Customer service is the most important brand differentiator for a business, according to the B2B customer service study Customers 2020. For many small businesses, it's no longer enough to satisfy needs and meet expectations — there's an imperative to delight customers by going above and beyond.

A girl sliding down a slide in the backyard .

Here's the good news: Growing your business does not have to mean losing personal customer service or sacrificing strong customer relationships. Here are some strategies that can help you continue to make customer service a priority as your business expands.

  1. Assess where you currently stand. Take time to evaluate your company's current performance and establish a baseline. A short survey of your current customers may reveal surprising insights into areas that need improvement. For example, perhaps customers are thrilled with the solutions you provide but wish you would respond faster to their needs. Or, perhaps your response time is satisfactory, but clients feel your team lacks empathy or genuine concern. By identifying a few areas that need work, you have a solid starting point in creating and improving your customer service.
  2. Use the right technology. Today's CRM software has evolved from a simple platform to maintain customer relationships to an array of robust offerings that help manage sales, point-of-sale (POS), marketing, accounting and more. CRM software can be used to store important information about your customers that not only helps drive future sales but also helps your service team respond better to client needs Using your customer service survey results, consider whether your CRM software is meeting your current needs or if a different platform is required.
  3. Respond promptly to client concerns. With the focus on business development, it's tempting to make new client relationships your primary focus. This can mean a delay when replying to emails or calls from your current clients. Even if you will personally be shifting over to new client development, don't leave the client base hanging when they run into trouble. Be sure to designate a few of your employees as part of a client relations team. This group can help streamline chain of command, speed response times and minimize the risk that a client problem gets overlooked.
  4. Proactively reach out to existing clients. Another role that a client relations team can have is to take initiative and reach out to those current clients with a quick check-in. This puts you in the driver's seat and signals to clients that you genuinely care about their needs. Whether you send a handwritten thank-you note or pick up the phone for a quick call, let clients know how much you appreciate their business. Don't try to "upsell" anything; keep the thanks authentic and the focus on their needs.

Growing your business is about more than just onboarding new clients. It's also about strengthening the relationships you have with current clients and ensuring they'll your customer for years to come.

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