How to Improve your Customer Experience as a Small Business
The customer experience is a vital element of most businesses and one that can contribute significantly to performance and success. Whilst larger businesses often benefit from more resources and investment, many small businesses have a competitive advantage in their ability to tailor their products and services specifically to each customer. If smaller businesses can leverage this advantage which many larger companies struggle with, it may just be the key to sustaining growth and profitability. A strong customer experience encourages brand loyalty and customer retention – so, how can small businesses improve their customer experience?
Build a relationship with each customer
Small businesses have a unique opportunity to focus more on each individual customer, simply because they often have less than larger competitors. Building a relationship and rapport will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of a customer’s needs. This provides you the chance to tailor your product or service to each individual and thus greatly improve their experience. Listen to your customer’s needs and make recommendations where appropriate.
Be consistent with customer service
Consistency is key when it comes to customer service. New and existing customers should be attended to with the same level of care and attention. This can help to encourage repeat business and loyalty from new buyers, as well as reinforce loyalty from existing buyers. Good customer service should be provided by all employees, so ensure to have a comprehensive training program. Other elements such as consistent staff workwear and name badges can make a service feel more professional.
Make use of feedback
Collecting customer feedback and reviews is always a good idea for a small business to identify where to improve the customer experience and understand what is being well received. You can ask for feedback in person after the transaction, over email or make use of online services like Google reviews. Each customer will expect different things from their experience, so gaining insight into a wide range of perspectives will help to optimise the customer journey for the majority.
Customer loyalty is something desired by every business. As such, rewarding loyalty is a task that many businesses undertake to improve customer retention and gain a competitive advantage in their market. Maximising customer lifetime value is an effective strategy for increasing profitability because it costs significantly more to attract new buyers than keep existing ones. Loyalty can be rewarded through discounts and perks, but try to understand what your customer really wants.
The customer experience that you provide will greatly determine your success as a business. Leveraging a smaller customer base to provide a better service and journey will give you a strong advantage over larger competitors, so focus on this with great detail.