How Small Business can learn to improve customer experience to create loyal customers for the long run. Strategies in learning how to give the customer what they want along with teaching them what to aspire to.
When it comes to small business, you either have the advantage or disadvantage of being able to keep things simple. Smaller organizations don’t have layers of management, HR departments, and other administrative personnel to get in the way of fast problem-solving and decision-making.
However, that also means that problems are amplified, and solutions must be equally effective. With a small business, there is less bureaucracy, which means you can make changes faster than larger corporations that may have several different departments before getting approval for even the slightest difference.
Small businesses tend to be more agile than organizations with multiple vice presidents. This means that no matter how big or small your company is, you can make changes quickly and improve customer experience as a result.
Determine Your Core Value Propositions
Before you start improving your customer experience and the specific aspects of that experience, it’s helpful first to define your core value propositions. A value proposition is a promise you make to customers around what they will receive in return for their investment in your business. So, what do you promise your customers? To determine your core value propositions, you need to know who your customers are. What are their needs and wants? What are they looking for when they buy from you? What are the pain points they currently have that you can solve for them? Once you have determined your customers’ needs and wants, you can decide how to help solve those problems for them. Once you know your core value propositions, you can start to determine how you can make your customer experience a better one.
A good example is to look at Apple. Apple’s CVP is “innovation.” You might think that’s a broad term, but look at Apple’s marketing, and you’ll see how they’ve applied it to every product they sell. They’re even using it for the Apple Watch. It’s not just a smartwatch, but one designed to “push boundaries.”
Create a Customer Experience Strategy
Many businesses have customer service strategies, but few have a customer experience strategy. The two may sound similar, but there is a big difference. The customer experience is made up of all the touch points with your business. It includes the ease of visiting your website, the time it takes to get a product shipped, and the quality of customer service you provide through your support channels. A customer service strategy is how you handle customer complaints and issues. A customer experience strategy is what you do to make your customers happy in the first place – before they have reason to complain. A customer experience strategy will include the following:
- What customer journeys and scenarios do you want to optimize for?
- What do you want customers to feel and experience when they interact with your business?
- How do you want to use technology to enhance the customer experience?
- What can you do to improve the overall customer experience?
Pay Attention To How Customers Interact with Your Business
You may already be paying attention to how customers engage with your product or service, but there are other ways to improve your customer experience. Firstly, what are their first point of contact and their first impression of your business? First impressions are made in seven seconds, so you need to optimize these first seven seconds. Do they find you via social media? Via search engines or word of mouth? Once you know, you can better understand how they interact with your business.
Next, you can pay attention to how your customers interact with your employees. Are they polite and friendly? Do they seem to be knowledgeable about your product or service? What is the quality of the language they use? These observations can provide you with insight into how your customers are feeling while they are interacting with your employees. They can also inform you how your employees may handle the situation. Again, this kind of user research can help you determine what is working and what isn’t to make changes that will improve the customer experience.
Improve Customer Support
Customer support is the first step in improving your customer experience. The way that you handle customer support will determine the customer experience for the customer who is experiencing a problem with your product or service. Customer support is not meant to be a quick solution to a customer’s problem. It is intended to be a way to provide the customer with the information they need to solve the problem on their own.
It’s important to remember that customer support is not just in-person. Today, customers expect to be able to reach out to customer support over the phone, through email, and even through live chat. What are the hours that you are available? Are you open on weekends? Do you have someone available 24/7 who can help customers? Do you have different support options for different types of issues? Looking for the right chat software for my website, for example, includes ensuring it offers the right level of support and operates outside your typical working hours so you can provide support when required to avoid losing out to competitors.
Run User Tests
One of the best ways to determine how your customers are experiencing your product or service is to run user tests. User testing is when you have someone (preferably not a family member or friend) go through the experience of using your business in order to provide you with feedback. This can be in the form of a user interview or focus group. You can even set up an online survey where customers can give you feedback in their own words and not be influenced by someone else’s opinion. You can also consider setting up an in-person or remote usability test with usability testing software. When running usability tests, you want to observe your customers and how they interact with your business. You may even want another person to take notes so you can interact with your customer. This will ensure that you have an unbiased opinion of their experience.
Be Transparent With Customers
Transparency with customers means being honest and forthcoming with them about how your business operates and what you can offer. It means being open about your prices and not trying to gouge customers with a higher price than necessary. It means being upfront about any discounts or special offers you have available. A transparent business also means being open about your products or services. This includes the quality of your products, the time it takes to produce them, and what happens if something goes wrong. You don’t have to go overboard with transparency, but you want your customers to know that you are being honest with them and not trying to pull a fast one.
Ask For And Take Onboard Feedback
Once you’ve been paying attention to customer interactions and receiving customer feedback, the next step is to take that feedback onboard. Many small businesses make a massive mistake by assuming that customers know what they want. That assumption is incorrect and can lead to missing critical pieces of feedback that can help you to improve your customer experience. You want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to provide you with feedback. This can be in the form of a customer survey or a customer feedback form. Again, customer feedback doesn’t have to be complex or extensive. It can be as simple as asking customers to rate your product on a scale of 1-10 in certain areas. You may also want a customer suggestion box where customers can leave suggestions for your business. Make sure you check this box and respond to customer feedback as often as possible.
Act-On Feedback Received
Once you’ve received feedback, it’s essential to act on it. There is no point in receiving feedback if you don’t do anything with it. This is especially true if the input you are receiving is critical or negative. The best way to handle negative feedback is to use it as an opportunity to learn. Ask yourself why the customer is giving you this feedback. How can you change the situation or improve your product or service? Making changes and improvements based on the feedback you’ve received from customers is a great way to enhance your customer experience and strengthen your relationship with customers.
There are few things more important in business than the customer experience. If you want to create loyal customers and stand out from the competition, you must ensure your customers have a positive experience every time they interact with your brand. The customer experience should be seamless, easy, and positive. It should also be tailored to each customer’s needs and desires.
To create a great customer experience, you need to put some thought into the process. You need to understand who your customers are, their value, and their pain points. Then, you need to create a customer experience that solves those problems. From customer service to technology, there are plenty of ways to improve the customer experience. It will be up to you to decide which ones are right for your business.