Small companies often provide better customer service than big companies. This sounds ridiculous, because big companies have more resources to provide better service. But it turns out that a big budget does not mean good service at all.
Why big companies provide worse customer service? The main reason is customer service staff. Owners of small businesses often serve customers themselves. They are the most passionate and motivated people in business. They understand the importance of every interaction with customers. They are eager to help customers and win their loyalty. Business owners are the perfect people for customer service, because they understand the importance of great customer service, they know everything about their business, and they are empowered to make any decision on behalf of their customers.
We can see a similar situation in small teams. When a team is dedicated to their business, the can provide the same level of customer service as business owners do.
The problems start when a business grows. Business owners in big companies are unable to work in customer service, and the members of small teams take their places in management teams. They have to hire people who do not know ins and outs of their business and in most cases they are not fully dedicated to their job. The new customer service team is limited in decision making and often lacks proper training.
A real disaster and downgrade in service level happens when companies outsource customer service. An outsourcing company can only act according to provided scripts. Their help is similar to assistance of a Virtual Agent, but several times more expensive. Have you ever contacted a service team of a big company, and they could not provide any information beyond the text from their website? This is really annoying because normally you contact support team to get more information, but they are unable to help you, because the company’s website is their only source of information.
Of course, many companies succeed in expanding their support team. When your company grows, you need to realize, that your service should play by different rules. You need to reconsider you support policies, motivation and training programs, communication processes and success metrics. This may sound too complicated to a small business owner, but this is the only way to continue delivering great customer support when your company grows.