Skip to main content

Small Business Owner’s Guide To Providing An Unbeatable Customer Experience

Reports suggest that a whopping $62 billion is lost each year as a direct result of poor customer service. This is a figure that’s up 50% from just 2 years ago. Statistics like this show us just how important customer service is to the consumer experience, and yet many businesses are still finding it difficult to get it right.

So what’s the problem?

One of the major issues is that, while there is plenty of accessible and beneficial advice available for businesses, this advice is usually tailored to large corporations who have the resources and the funds to put these plans into action. High-quality staff training, super speedy responses, and the ability to throw in freebies, for example, aren’t exactly practical tactics for smaller businesses.

That’s why small business owners need to consider alternative ways to please purchasers. 
 

Thinking Differently

The first step towards providing an unbeatable customer experience is to take a slightly different approach to what customer experience is all about. While larger corporations may associate good customer experience with increased sales and boosted profits, small business owners may benefit from thinking about customer experience more in terms of loyalty and reputation. Experts claim that great customer experience can result in a 10% loyalty increase, demonstrating a solid link between the two. 

The great news for small business owners is that boosting loyalty and reputation through amazing customer experience can be simple, even when working on a tight budget. 

 

 

 

Know your business

It may sound simple, but one of the most important (and most cost-effective) ways to ensure your customers have a great experience is to simply understand your business, your values, and your products.

Both pre and post-purchase support is vital to consumers.

Should they have any questions or concerns that would stand in the way of them making a purchase, it’s essential that the business can answer these questions in a satisfactory way. If you sell products, it’s a good idea to ask key employees to sample or trial a product for a limited time so that they can become familiar with the product from a consumer perspective. This may also help them to preempt any likely questions that may pop up. 

 

Help others to help themselves

One of the biggest obstacles preventing small businesses from offering an unbeatable customer experience is that they simply do not have the necessary workforce to address all consumer inquiries within a suitable time frame.

Luckily, there is a solution: helping customers to help themselves, rather than relying on the business.

By simply taking a little time to make your business website more comprehensive, adding sale guides, purchase advice, and an FAQ section covering the most common customer questions, it can be possible to improve customer experience without the need to take on more staff. Many customers prefer a self-service method, minimising the need to contact a company. 

 

Practice honesty and transparency

Savvy shoppers are smarter than ever before, so bending the truth can have disastrous consequences for businesses. While small business owners and their employees may find it tempting to sugarcoat situations with customers to help forge a good experience, this is rarely the best option. Instead, should an employee feel unable to resolve a situation at the point of contact, it is important to be transparent and honest and relay this to the customer. 

However, maintaining a positive outlook can be hugely beneficial. If you are unable to assist at the time, assure the customer that the situation will be looked into in further detail, and try your best to keep the customer updated as to the status of their inquiry.

Find ways to be available

Research has found a link between top companies by annual revenue, and top companies by the speed of response. This suggests that customers enjoy a better experience when their contact efforts are dealt with in a timely fashion. Small businesses may not be able to rival their larger counterparts in terms of speed, but that doesn’t mean that they need to be falling behind.

While speed may not always be possible, presence is. Try to ensure that your business is present on whatever platforms are commonly used by your target audience; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on, making sure that customers have a simple and clear way to make contact at a suitable time for them, even when the business is closed. 

 

Learn what works… and what doesn’t

If you’re a new business, don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know everything there is to know about running a successful business. It takes time. Getting everything lined up just right to ensure an unbeatable customer experience takes a lot of trial and error, so it’s important to use this time to figure out which methods work for you, and which methods don’t.

How do you do that? By asking your customers.

Your customers want a good experience just as much as you want them to have one, so many will be willing to help you out. A good way to obtain valuable feedback is by creating a customer questionnaire, or by encouraging consumers to post and share reviews through social media networks. 

 

Getting it right: it’s worth it

While it can be challenging for small business owners to get everything in place to ensure each and every customer enjoys a great shopping experience, it’s not impossible. Yes, it can take a little effort, but this effort will certainly pay off, especially considering just how important a good customer experience really is to consumers. Reports suggest that more than one-quarter of all shoppers will look to a competitor business if they have a poor experience with a brand, highlighting how important this is for success. 

 

Andrea Boffo is CEO of PlusVoucherCode, a website that provides discount codes to save money on online purchases.

Share this content

Leave a Reply

Register with Informi today:

  • Create your own personalised account and access exclusive resources
  • Receive the latest updates from Informi
  • Join in the discussion through the comments section

or