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Customer Experience Lessons for Small Businesses
CloudCherry | Featured | March 22, 2016
Quick question. What’s the single most important thing any small business cannot afford? Bigger office space? Grander pay checks? No no no (you’ve got it so wrong!)… It’s losing a customer. Yes, for any small or medium-sized business, a customer walking away – swearing never to return – can indeed have terrible repercussions.
Now, why’s that so? Well, fortunately or unfortunately the ‘small business milieu ’ appears to be designed for competition, not that the more gargantuan brands are free from it. But, the battleground for small businesses bears the closest resemblance to a dystopian era; the packs contain more numbers, with each business wanting to strive innovatively harder to draw a clear and distinct distinguishing line from their competition. In fact, according to a 2013 study published in Forbes, there were 28 million small businesses in the United States. And that was in 2013 and in the US alone!
Fierce competition often translates into myriad choices for the consumer. If your brand cannot meet customer expectations, the brand that does is hardly a mile or click away. Which is exactly why most of these smaller brands/businesses need to shift their focus onto the customer, or should I say onto the experience the brand creates for the customer.
While the scale of competition could be something that is working against small and medium-sized businesses, the one thing working in their favour, unknowingly, is the scale of customers they serve. Most of these brands cater to a relatively smaller customer base, providing an opportunity to understand consumer expectations individually, in depth.
And from the customers’ perspective, it’s undeniable that they love some personalized attention and would want their needs & expectations satisfied, if not exceeded, while interacting with a brand. Naturally, customers would associate themselves with brands that acknowledge and deliver on those needs consistently.
From what’s been discussed here, we can safely arrive at the conclusion that delivering a personalized customer experience is what small/medium scale businesses should strive for if they are to prevent customers from leaving.
Then arrives the question, How do small and medium sized businesses deliver a personalized customer experience?
To create something personal for a customer, you need to understand the customer, first and foremost. CloudCherry’s Customer Experience Management solution allows Small Businesses to actively collect feedback from customers on multiple platforms – website surveys, Email surveys. tablet and smartphone feedback and so on. But collecting feedback simply isn’t enough.
The feedback should be made actionable, i.e. it should be used to address a particular business pain point. So, the next time a customer rates your business poorly on any aspect, you can be alerted instantly to compensate for the bad experience and ensure that the relationship with the customer isn’t damaged beyond repair.
Also, what if there was a way you could find out that a customer had rated your store poorly during his previous visit? Wouldn’t that help your brand serve the same customer better this time around? Of course it would!
To generate such pro-active insight into customer behaviour, small businesses can leverage CloudCherry’s Insight Platform where actionable insight on customer behaviour is generated automatically in real-time. Such a dynamic platform helps you pry into business processes – what is it that you’re doing great, where is it that you’re falling short, what do customers like/dislike about your brand?
This level of attention to detail is the bare minimum if small scale businesses want to create a personalized customer experience.
The ball game here is entirely different in comparison to enterprise organizations – where hundreds or thousands of customers visit your store/website every single day. In such a scenario, a single customer migrating to a competitor wouldn’t necessarily bear serious consequences. But small businesses cannot afford the same luxury; they should do everything in their power to retain customers and use these loyal customers for effective publicity. Because remember, the business world outside is well and truly about the survival of the fittest!
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