A recent Gartner report revealed that more than 70% of businesses would compete mostly on the basis of customer experience (CX) in the coming years. This is the reason businesses are ensuring that customers sit at the crux of their branding and marketing endeavors.
Be it via overall brand, quality of product or interactions, customer experience has traversed all the way and is now the most deciding factor for a company. Thereby a small enterprise or startup that aims to go that extra mile ought to build a culture or branding strategy that cares for its customers. In fact, customer experience has to sit at the heart of a company’s game plan.
What most of the successful companies and industry giants have in common is the mere fact that they put their customers first always. This is something that startups and small businesses ought to learn from them. Here are few ways a small business can rock at customer success:
- Know the difference between customer success and customer service
First and foremost, you ought to define customer success and customer service. Though both are related, they are two different things. Customer success is all about a proactive phase aimed to address the primary challenges and pave way for long term success. Whereas customer service, on the other hand, is a support based thing designed for addressing questions/concerns and assist customers for specific issues. Though customer success sounds a welcoming thing for a small enterprise, customer service to plays a pivotal role. The secret to getting the most out of them is to ensure that both customer service and customer success are well-defined with regard to responsibilities, roles, and goals.
- Have a bird’s-eye view of your customers
You need to connect your sales, marketing, and service data on a centralized platform. Customers do not care which personnel or department they connect with when seeking help. All they want is answers to their queries and resolutions to their concerns. You ought to bring all the data and interactions into one common system or platform. When different departments and teams work together, they can offer better and personalized customer experience leading to repeat business and customer retention. A good CRM software can bridge all the departments seamlessly thus, making sure that everyone stays on the same page helping in providing optimum customer service and experience.
- Treat your employees the way you want your customers to treat your brand
To build a brand name through a streak of satisfied customers, you should first start with satisfying your employees. Reason being that employee experience straightaway impacts the customer experience. Employees when happy and content, it amplifies their desire to assist others, which is customers here. Most importantly, a caring culture goes a long way in nurturing brand loyalty. A business cannot legit care about the customers if they fail to care about the employees that serve them.
- Make customer service the crux of your marketing and sales campaigns
A startup or small enterprise cannot afford to take its customers and their relationships with them for granted. This is the reason you ought to make customer service the heart of your marketing and sales campaigns or efforts. Providing excellent customer service on a consistent basis is undoubtedly a USP and most importantly, it helps build trust. Not to forget that a business has 50-60% chance of winning repeat business from an existing customer compared to acquiring a new one that stands at 10-20% only. Customers really are least bothered about the various channels offered by a brand, since they just would want to interact on the most convenient one. This is the reason social CRM systems are gaining good traction among small businesses these days. Since the most preferred way of reaching a brand is via its social media channel and having a social CRM software in place would help you in not only assisting your customers but would also help you know and understand them in a much better manner.
- Leverage user-generated content and success stories
Yes, success stories blend in the power of storytelling with data-backed data. They let you accentuate real-world case scenarios, innovation, challenges and results helping to make your service or product more tangible and worth. Most importantly, success stories reflect a company’s endurance and commitment to the success of its customers. In addition, budget friendliness makes them a preferred choice for startups and small businesses. Make sure that these stories define the success of your customers. Simply put, put it in their way and not yours.
Today, having a great product won’t do any good for you, since you have to go that extra mile to acquire as well as retain your customers by offering stupendous customer experience. With the right team of people, the right strategy and the right CRM system, you are all set to carve a brand loyalty for your small business.
Anwar Shaikh writes about AI, business intelligence, cloud, IoT and enterprise management systems including ERP and CRM software. A writer at heart, Anwar is a Digital Marketing Manager with Sage Software Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of cost-effective cloud based CRM software to small and mid-sized businesses in India.