Today’s consumers expect excellent, personalized customer service; they need to feel that their needs matter.
And, rising to these challenges is especially crucial for small businesses that have to go toe-to-toe with large companies who can throw beaucoup money and resources at potential problems.
The good news is that many small businesses are up to the task. A 2019 survey found that 71 percent of customers had a better customer journey with a smaller business. Further, 53 percent said they use small businesses at least twice a month and 80 percent rated their customer experience with a small business as either “good” or “very good.”
How does your business rate? Do you appreciate all the elements that must come together to provide a world-class customer experience in today’s commercial environment?
Let’s take a deep dive into the topic so you can take your customer experience pulse and uncover the areas where you need to devote renewed effort.
What Do We Mean by Customer Experience?
Put simply, it’s the impression your customers have of your business after they’ve had any kind of dealing with it.
[quotes]If they’ve had a great experience, they’ll have a favorable view of your brand.[/quotes]
The same applies if they’ve bought a product, love it, love that it arrived on time, and love that their every interaction with your business was positive, including the way you dealt with any unforeseen problems.
If you’re unconvinced that providing a great customer experience should be at the heart of your business strategy, then look at these numbers:
- 84: The percentage of companies that report an increase in revenue after working on improving their customer experience.
- 96: The percentage of customers who say they will stay loyal to a brand if they get good customer service.
- 60: The percentage of companies that are more profitable because they focus on great customer experience.
We could inundate you with more numbers, but let’s look further at what you can do to deliver a winning customer experience.
Create a Great Customer Service Strategy
Just because you’re a small business, it doesn’t mean you can get away with not having a customer service strategy. Before setting out your customer strategy, you need to understand:
- Who your customers are. This includes demographics, interests, motivation, and purchasing habits.
- How your customers interact with your business. This is called the customer journey and covers the customer’s experience with you from the very start to purchase.
- What your business goals are. Strategic Measurable Achievable Realistic Time bounded (SMART) goals will increase your profit margins.
- How essential it is to hire customer-centric staff. You don’t want the grinch dealing with already upset customers if you want to see them or any of their friends in the future.
- The importance of making it easy for shoppers to interact with you. Be human, reachable, and responsive any way you can. Who wants to be ignored or struggle with the (n)ever-popular 22-step call tree contact process?
Once you have your strategy in place, be sure to condense it into customer-friendly language on all your materials, such as your website, social media handles, and emails. It needs to be integrated into every aspect of your business.
Your Customers are Your Ambassadors
If you provide excellent customer service throughout the entire customer journey, your customers will remember it and probably give you a great review on your website, the various media pages, and in other online portals.
You can encourage them to review you. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth recommendations – or condemnations!
Invest in Technology
Not all of the above has to be done manually. Save yourself time by investing in technology that makes it easy for your customers to engage with your business from start to finish.
The right software will allow your customers to contact you via multiple channels such as social media, voice, email, SMS messaging, and your website. [quotesright]Customers want the choice of how and when they contact you. [/quotesright]
In addition, providing customers with a choice enhances the quality of your customer service. Plus, it gives you invaluable real-time data analysis about the shopping and communication preferences of your customers.
You can send them automated welcome emails when they subscribe to your newsletter and website. Or, if a customer abandons their cart, you can gently nudge them to remind them their items are still there for the taking.
After the item is delivered, you can ask your customers to review the product and their entire customer experience with you. You want to find out what exceeded their expectation and where things were less than stellar.
Without such information about your customers and their experiences with you, you're operating in the dark, and your reputation and your customers’ loyalty won't be as strong.
Act on Information
Once you have all the information about your customers’ experiences, if you find that there are a few negatives, take action. Use the information to improve upon the service you are providing and the products you are selling. Where someone did a great job helping a customer, let them and the whole company know. People do more of what gets rewarded.
If you fail in your follow up, customers will be frustrated that their feedback is being ignored.
Maintain a Strong Online Presence
Your business needs to stand out and having a healthy and active online presence is part of an excellent customer experience that encourages engagement.
For example, you can find and follow your customers on Instagram, encourage them to follow you, offer discounts via social media and email, and create classy content that’s relevant to your audience. Give them tips, such as advice on how to get the most from their purchase, etc. Delight them and make them smarter.
Ready to Start Providing a Great Customer Experience?
Now that you know why great customer experience is so vital to your business. We’re just going to leave you with this one final thought:
Finding new customers will cost your business up to five times more than it requires you to keep the existing ones.
Get Help Now
We identify the roadblocks and remover them which have held back your delivering a stellar customer experience. Schedule a Call Brian Tracy USA: 877.433.6225 Email Me email@example.com