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Modern Ways to Improve the Customer Experience for Small Business Owners

Small businesses operating in today's world have to cope with an increasingly savvy and demanding clientele who will not hold back with negative reviews. It seems an impossible job at times but many businesses still deliver a near-perfect customer experience. This piece looks at how small business owners can improve the customer experience but before then, it is important to draw a distinction between customer service and customer experience.

Customer service is just one aspect of the customer experience. A client visiting your ecommerce website for example, may be impressed by your product range and shipping but be disappointed with you return policy or site navigation.  A customer at your offline storefront may not have any problems with the quality of your product but can be put off becoming a repeat customer by employee attitude or parking space.

Customer experience, therefore, is a conglomeration of factors that customers are exposed to, at every step of their journey.

Ensure a Personalised Approach to Communications

Some small businesses make the mistake of mirroring larger companies with the way they paint a picture of aloofness when it comes to communications. The modern customer values small businesses because they feel personally connected especially when the business is local. Reciprocate this by providing multiple communication channels to allow the customer choose a communication channel that is most appropriate. Keep these channels manned at the appropriate time to ensure speedy communications.

Develop Relationships at All Levels

Whether you are into B2B or B2C sales, you need to build relationships. More businesses are seeing the need to blur out the lines when it comes to building relationships with their customers. Create an environment where all your customers, regardless of clout, want to always engage with your business. It is one of the surest ways to build a strong clientele base and leverage on word of mouth advertising.

Look Beyond Pricing and Focus on Experience

In the near future, businesses will only have customer experience as the only competition point. Savvy small business owners are gaining a march on the competition by starting now to make customers feel heard and valued. It goes beyond offering freebies. Think about a restaurant that offers a drive in wash and complementary gas or a beauty salon that has a high value children entertainment area.

Use Social Media to Enhance Relationships

Before now, social media profiles for small businesses were nothing but a link dump for website posts and a place to show off follower numbers. It was why there was a massive rise in the number of services offering "followers" most of whom are fake and do not offer any engagements.

Modern businesses are using social media to engage and create a personal relationship with their target audience. Simple actions like "liking" or "retweeting" posts from followers could be all that is required to make them more inclined towards your business.

Address all Concerns

One of the biggest advantages that small businesses enjoy today, is the ability to easily see what customers think about their business. Customers are always talking about your brand online so you need to listen to the negatives. If you are always getting mixed reviews on review sites or on social media, it is time to rejig business processes. If you talk about time at a holiday resort and say "It was a good experience but I wasn't impressed with the food to be honest", the person you are talking to will never go to enjoy that experience. The onus lies on the resort to reduce the number of people that will say the exact same thing about them in future.



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