If you have a small to medium sized business and you’re looking to grow your business as well as competing in the global marketplace – you need to ensure that you stay one step ahead of your competitors. One of the best ways to do this is by providing excellent customer service.

Great customer service is all about pre-empting your customers needs, going the extra mile, and giving them more than they expected.  This goes above your product or service, your business ethos and customer service policies must be integrated. How you treat your customers should be a reflection of what your business stands for.

Satisfied customers are the best form of marketing.  Rather than promoting your services, let the people who have had good experiences speak for you. The platform of social media has transformed the way that customers interact with businesses. They can quickly and easily recommend services to their family and friends and endorse your business.

In order to target the areas in which you can improve customer service, you first need to identify the ways in which customers interact with your business. Face for Business has recently conducted a survey of 1500 people in find out how customers feel when contacting businesses, the results of which have been used to create a UK Caller Satisfaction Survey infographic.

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The survey asked respondents to divulge their customers preferred method of contact. They were given the choice of phone, email, online chat and social media. The results reveal that 43% of 18-30 year olds prefer to speak to businesses via phone to other means. If this is the way your customers are choosing to communicate with you, it is imperative to ensure that your company provides impeccable telephone answering services.

The next aspect of customers experience addressed by the survey was their satisfaction after speaking to businesses. One major bugbear that many customers face when calling companies is the time they spend waiting on hold. Respondents were asked to estimate the length of time they thought they had spent on hold. Almost half of the respondents felt that they spend an average of 10 minutes on hold per week.

It is important for business to be available to meet the needs of their customers. There are a number of ways that this can be addressed, such as clearly stating what times your business can be contacted. This may vary from business to business depending on your opening times, and whether you provide services to people in different time zones.

The infographic suggests that 7 out of 10 people will hang up after 3 rings when they are trying to call a business. You can boost your caller satisfaction by being available to answer incoming calls. If you are a micro or small to medium sized business, you may not have the resources to handle each and every call that comes in. If this is the case you may need to address your businesses internal phone management. An ideal solution to this problem is telephone answering services.

By outsourcing this area of the business you will know that each call is being answered quickly and professionally, these calls are filtered so that any new business enquiries are brought to your attention rather than being missed, and this will give you the time to focus on expanding your business and improving your product and services.