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.
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.