It’s The Little Things That Matter

When it comes to business-to-business customer service it is often the little things that matter. Many companies focus on the big things and ignore the little “softer things” that really in the end create a great customer experience.

There is an old adage (actually I just made it up!) that goes; 

“The higher the technology a company produces, the lousier its customer service.” 

It’s as if those companies producing the highest tech products feel they deserve a pass for the easier, but always important, more mundane aspects of customer service. 

It’s true that in the realm of business-to-business (B2B) customer service, attention to detail and the “little things” can often make a significant difference in overall satisfaction and loyalty. While many companies prioritize addressing major issues or implementing advanced technologies, neglecting the smaller, softer aspects of customer service can ultimately impact their relationships with clients.

My self-proclaimed theory is based on the fact that it is not uncommon for companies focused on high-tech products to become overly reliant on their technological prowess and neglect the human element of customer service. Sure, there are exceptions, but I have found this theory to be true more often than not.

In reality, regardless of the sophistication of the products or services offered, maintaining a strong customer service experience is essential for sustaining business success. Companies that recognize the importance of addressing customer needs at every level, from resolving technical issues to providing personalized support and fostering positive interactions, are more likely to cultivate lasting relationships with their B2B clients.

It’s about finding the right balance between innovation and customer-centricity, ensuring that technological advancements complement rather than overshadow the fundamental principles of excellent customer service.

A company will spend a great deal of time and effort building a high technology, difficult to build printed circuit board, but then not sending the right documents when shipping the board. In other words, screwing up on the “easy stuff” and spoiling the entire customer experience since the boards cannot be received until the paperwork issue is solved. How many times has this happened at your company?

Here are some of those small soft things that you can do to make sure you deliver the best long-term customer service experience possible. Keep in mind these are simple little things that can make a world of difference when it comes to creating a life-long ongoing and rewarding relationship with your customers.

  1. Personalized Greetings: Address customers by name in communications.
  2. Prompt Responses: Respond to inquiries and support requests promptly, demonstrating attentiveness to customer needs. Active Listening: Listen carefully to customer concerns and feedback, showing empathy and understanding.
  3. Regular Check-ins: Proactively reach out to customers to ensure their satisfaction and offer assistance.
  4. Clear Communication: Use clear and concise language in all communications, avoiding jargon or technical terms when unnecessary.
  5. Surprise Gestures: Occasionally send small tokens of appreciation or unexpected perks to show gratitude for their business.
  6. Customized Solutions: Tailor products or services to meet the specific needs and preferences of individual customers.
  7. Educational Resources: Provide resources such as guides, tutorials, or webinars to help customers maximize the value of their purchases.
  8. Follow-up Calls: After resolving an issue or completing a project, follow up with customers to ensure their satisfaction and address any lingering concerns.
  9. Transparency: Be transparent about product updates, changes, or issues, keeping customers informed at all times.
  10. Relationship Building: Invest time in building genuine relationships with customers, beyond just business transactions.
  11. Flexible Payment Options: Offer flexible payment plans or terms to accommodate customers’ financial situations.
  12. Adaptability: Be willing to adapt products or services based on customer feedback and evolving market trends.
  13. Simplified Processes: Streamline processes and paperwork to make it easier for customers to do business with you.
  14. Proactive Support: Anticipate potential issues or challenges customers may face and offer proactive solutions or support.
  15. Consistent Branding: Ensure consistency in branding and messaging across all touchpoints to reinforce trust and reliability.
  16. Responsive Support: Provide multiple channels for customer support and ensure timely responses across all platforms.
  17. Community Engagement: Foster a sense of community among customers by facilitating networking opportunities or online forums.
  18. Celebrating Milestones: Acknowledge and celebrate significant milestones or achievements with customers, such as anniversaries or project completions.
  19. Continuous Improvement: Continuously strive to improve and innovate based on customer feedback and market insights.

And please do not underestimate the value and importance of doing all of these things and doing them intentionally well. They will make the difference, they will make you stand out, and they will make you the preferred choice every time. It’s only common sense.