Recent research from Anaplan emphasises the importance of good customer service and the impact that this can have on company profits.

The research suggests that some UK businesses are failing to deliver good customer service so what can SMEs do to ensure that they cover the basics and deliver great customer service?

Be there for your customer - some people prefer to contact a company via phone, others by email and some by social media. Most SMEs will be well equipped to deal with the first two, however some may be wary of social channels. Even if you’re not present, it doesn’t mean that your customers aren’t. Overcome this by setting up basic profiles on the most appropriate channels and checking them once a day to respond to any enquiries. There are also free social media tools that can help with this and allow you to monitor all your profiles in one place

Listen to their feedback – dealing with a customer complaint may seem frustrating but often, if they are smoothly and satisfactorily resolved you can retain the customer and learn how to improve your service. Once a complaint has been resolved, take the time to reflect to see if you can implement processes to stop it occurring again. Keep in mind that customers also use social media to get in touch

Invest in employee training – being on hold can be frustrating and even more so when you are passed through from department to department or left with an unclear answer. To help your employees deliver better customer service, invest time in teaching them about the company and what each department is responsible for. This  could be in the form of ‘lunch and learn’ sessions where employees come together to discuss best practice and listen to presentations from other departments