Small Business Friday encourages a focus on customer service

AUGUST 25, 2016

As South Africa continues to grow and develop its entrepreneurial spirit and build businesses that last, Mike Anderson, Founder & CEO of the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC), says that SMEs need to be cognisant of the important role customer service plays in the overall longevity of their businesses.

“People buy from people and thus the service they receive will imprint on them immediately. If it is good, they will go back again, however it is bad, they will not return. It’s that simple in a small business, so our advice is to make every customer engagement a good one,” says Anderson.

He says that SMEs need to realise that a company’s success will not only be as a result of its products. “There is a fantastic opportunity with a customer to make every exchange an unforgettable experience. This will go a long way in terms of developing goodwill and building a long-lasting relationship.”

This commitment to a client-centric focus has borne fruit at Nedbank, which was the only bank to have shown a year on year improvement in terms of how it met customer needs in 2015, according to the South African customer satisfaction index (SAcsi). The index is an independent international benchmarking survey which measures the level of customers’ satisfaction with their bank. Nedbank was also the only brand to improve perceived quality of service delivery in the survey. 

Nedbank’s focus on client centricity and innovation has seen the bank achieve positive results, attributed to the ongoing improvements noted in its professional and small business banking offerings.

“We are pleased by this recognition as it illustrates our ongoing efforts in delivering a distinctive client experience based on financial and lifestyle needs. Through ongoing market research aimed at listening to and understanding client needs, we are cognisant that most clients are looking to do banking in a unique and convenient environment where all their needs are met,” says, Annette Francke: Managing Executive: Retail Relationship Banking at Nedbank.

Small Business Friday (SBF) is coming up on the 2 September, it’s South Africa’s biggest movement aimed at mobilising South Africans to support their local businesses.  Anderson says that this movement creates awareness of the small business community and it presents a great opportunity for these businesses to take advantage of this and offer customers excellent service: “SMEs are not invisible to customer experience and need to empower their entire business, and create a culture of providing good customer service at all levels. Make every experience a fantastic one, giving a bit extra to ensure customers come back time and again.” 

He says achieving better customer service can be simple in its process.  There are five simple tips to consider when working towards a Fantastic Friday:

  1. Walk in a customer’s shoes – understand what they require and also how you would want to be treated as a customer. Just starting off in the right direction can make all the difference.
  2. Embrace all feedback – thanks to social media, customer feedback can come flying at you from all platforms. Don’t ignore it, embrace both the good and bad. Let it assist you in making the necessary changes in your business to improve customer service.
  3. Don’t oversell – retain your integrity and sell or advise only what you truly feel the customer requires.  This will create a trusting relationship and build priceless loyalty within your customer base.
  4. Tick all the boxes – even the boring ones – make sure your processes and administration is top notch. Don’t overlook the importance of a slick business process methodology as this will have an impact on customer service.
  5. Less haste more speed – take your time and deliver your best. Don’t rush an order or a job, take the requisite time and deliver a great product.  This will ensure customers come back too.

 

Small Business Friday, brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) with Nedbank as Title Sponsor, will take place on the 2 September 2016. We urge everyone to get involved now by pledging support on the pledge wall hosted on the official site www.smallbizfriday.co.za