Every small business owner knows that customer care is top priority. The problem is that so many tasks demand your time that customer service can get lost in the hustle and bustle of daily tasks.

It costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. This is why it’s good practice to focus on customer needs in order to boost retention. Take a look at these 4 ways you can ensure your customers are satisfied and engaged.

1. Listen to your customers

Every customer wants to feel heard and know that they’re valued. Make sure you’re open to feedback and respond in ways that show your customer that you hear them and will address their concerns. Create a greater affinity for your business and encourage honest feedback. If you want to get feedback, just ask! While it may seem obvious, many small business owners forget to take this simple step. This is also a great way to avoid bad reviews online.

Aim to build rapport with your customers – this is one of many easy ways to boost small business success. Start with those you have the strongest relationships with. You don’t have to have a formal conversation; ask open-ended questions about a customer’s experience with your business and you can take away some valuable insights.

2. Monitor social media

Remember to keep an eye on what is happening on your social media accounts. Monitor and respond promptly to all private messages, comments and mentions. Whether the message is positive, neutral or negative, each message should receive a direct response if you want to prove to your customers that their opinions matter to you and your business.

Think about how social media has transformed customer service and our lives over the years. I’ve seen it time and time again. People are quick to vent their issues with businesses on social media, so it’s vital that you’re aware of what is being said about your business and stay on top of any issues that may arise.

3. Improve response time

If you see that you’re getting a lot of the same questions, enlist in the help of chatbots. Chatbots were once used for large businesses that had the money to develop them, but now they’re used by all sorts of businesses, from small businesses to nonprofits. Chatbots can save your small business valuable time and are easy to create on many website-builder platforms.

You may wonder how chatbots help nonprofits; the answer is they can expand outreach and increase engagement with donors. Nonprofits rely on supporters to assist with fundraising and a chatbot can fill that function and bring momentum to the giving process.

It all boils down to the fact that it’s crucial to address customer correspondence professionally and in a timely manner. If you fail to check your messages regularly, these types of communication can get backed up especially if you don’t have a dedicated customer service professional.

4. Free up time to dedicate to customer service

The reality is that running a small business means there is not enough time for every task. If you see that customer service is pushed to the bottom of your list, make it a point to free up some time in your schedule to dedicate to the customer.  Consider blocking off 30 minutes of your calendar each day and you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish.

In every type of business, it’s always time to focus on the bloodline of your business – the customer! Listen to customer feedback, monitor social accounts and address issues promptly so you can deliver ongoing customer satisfaction and boost customer retention.

Megan Totka is a freelance writer, expert and consultant. She was the marketing & editorial director at for over a decade. As an expert, she specializes in reporting the latest news, helpful tips and reliable resources, as well as providing advice. She has significant experience with the topic of marketing, and has spent several years exploring topics like copywriting, content marketing, list building, social media and any hot topics to help businesses run successfully.

Customer listening stock photo by pathdoc/Shutterstock