The modern consumer of the digital millennium will expect nothing but the best when it comes to the experience and customer service offered to them. When the consumer chooses to interact with instead of the numerous options available in the market, they expect reciprocation for their effort. As the patterns of consumption change on fastidious speeds and competition runs rampant in all niches of the market, maintaining an optimal customer service has become a need of the hour for the small and medium enterprises.
Studies have estimated that by the end of 2020, the aspect of customer service over product/services will be the key differentiator among different businesses. When discussing differentiators, one must not miss out on the fact that the dynamics for SMEs differ significantly from the market mammoths.
If you are looking for a comprehensive resource for customer experience and its implications on the sales and conversions on small and medium enterprises, then this article is just the perfect read for you!
Why customer service matters more to small and medium enterprises?
In its essence, customer service helps businesses retain customers and extracting more value from them through the provision of an all-encompassing customer experience. This helps businesses recoup the costs of customer acquisition and eventually cultivate a loyal customer base.
We understand that customer service cannot be prioritized in a small business due to the lack of financial and human resources. Willingness to implement customer service-oriented strategies is another shackle that cannot be ignored, but when you place your trust in the potential of a stellar customer experience, you win the game by a sprint and a half!
How customer service differs from customer experience?
The major difference between customer service and customer experience is the impact an element makes on the customer’s journey. Customer service is limited to the interactions a customer has with the business in question, whereas the customer experience is the analysis of the entire process one undergoes while discovering and exploring a business in-person or online.
These elements are equally critical for the success of SME’s. This article is primarily focused on SME’s and pocket-friendly strategies that improve customer service and experience without burning a hole in your pocket that is as big as a crater on the moon!
Here are a few strategies for your assistance in achieving the ideal customer service protocols.
Respond to client needs
The old adage ‘client is king’ is the precise summary of this strategy. When you are hired as a novice to cater to a king, you ensure that all of their orders and queries, whims and intrigue, everything is addressed to your highest potential. Similarly, SMEs do not have a strong base of customers in the beginning, and they are left at the mercy of the target population. If they fail to answer to the audience and bring your presence to their attention, then there is no use of being in the market. Hence, you must answer every query, comment, and feedback on your online platforms to help your customers know that you are just an interaction away.
Retain attention through engagement
Once you accomplish the feat of generating loyalty in your initial group of followers, you can gradually expand your audience. You can take help from CRM services to take care of your initial round of technical issues. Businesses like SkinOutfits follow the path of hype and halt to help the customer base get used to interactions with the business. You engage a few social media influencers or make videos that add value to the customer. You make an investment early for this task and then reap its fruits for ages to come. You can even engage the audience through user-generated- content to help your business remain within the financial constraints you may face as a small/medium enterprise.
Once the business is capable of intriguing a larger audience through creative and tech-savvy techniques, you can easily become the customer’s preference in your niche!
Ask for feedback
You must take action according to the demands and changing patterns of consumption in your target audience. But how can you find out about the changes required without asking for feedback?
Asking the customers for feedback is a step in the right direction. It helps you develop a direct connection with your consumer base while also helping you convert more leads into sales. When a business invests its resources in the customer experience from beginning to end, the consumer is naturally gravitated to post a positive review about the brand on social media and other digital platforms.
As an SME, you can entice the audience with an inconsequential freebie like a free makeup bag, a mug, or a set of scrunches on the next purchase they make after posting a review! A small system of rewards will not disrupt your budget as such, but it will get you the financial and digital gains that you so desperately need!
Team up with the right people
A business cannot succeed without the right team. Teams are the asset that helps a business stand together on their own foundation. Whether you are a sole proprietor with family and friends working for you and a small company, it is necessary to have all good hands on deck to improve services.
In the context of SMEs, there is often a lot at stake, and things go downhill in a snap when a negative review gains prominence on your social media. In any case, you must have a team onboard that is prepared to tackle such situations with the first-hand experience in catering to different types of clients.
SMEs often feel trapped when they realize the stature of the market giants operating in their industry. But what they fail to realize is the power of human emotions and customized experience. Big brands are catering to a very large audience which is why they have streamlined responses for each interaction. But when it comes to SMEs, you have the opportunity to provide an effortless customer experience that retains your audience and helps you stay on top of the game!