Written by: Kiesha King-Brown, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Your customers’ experience is both the customer service they receive and the impression you leave about your brand. 53% of small business owners believe they are at a disadvantage in customer service compared to larger companies.
This belief can become a competitive disadvantage, a disservice to the customer and a growth staller…if you let it. Or, you can choose to create a culture around the customer that is unexpected. You can create a customer experience-MAGNIFIED. By definition, magnification is an increase in the apparent significance of something, as a lens creates. It is to make greater or of more importance even if by perception.
As a business owner, your role is to create an experience that, from the customer’s lens, is more significant and adds greater value than what they would experience elsewhere. Your priority is to make customers feel more important than they do when they step into or “click” into another brand. Adding value AND adding to the degree of importance for customers will require a different level of interaction.
82% of U.S. consumers want more human interaction in the future. You may be wondering how that will be possible as our future now resides in the new normal. The current economic landscape is already requiring “human interaction” in business to be redefined.
With such a shift to online businesses, small business owners will have to learn to improve engagement both in person and in partnership with technology for effective customer experience. Human interaction on the part of businesses will mean more communication, more follow up, and more personalization when it comes to connecting their brand with customers long-term. Technology will definitely have to bridge the gap between social distancing and the customer expectations.
Let’s get out the magnifying glass and look at 10 ways small businesses can connect with customers and also create a competitive advantage in customer experience:
1. Know and make sure you are out-executing your small business competitors first
Create a routine around competitive analysis and strategy
2. Hire employees that are already customer-centric and tech-savvy
3. Map out and understand your customer’s journey
4. Identify opportunities to improve your business in these key areas:
Prioritizing their safety
Respecting their time with efficiency and timeliness
Training your team to provide friendly and engaging service consistently.
Reducing friction in the customer journey by making things convenient to do business in-person and easy to navigate online, simplifying processes, making customer service feel like a partnership
5. Follow up on service and purchases made
Send personalized Thank You emails
Post sale offer to provide additional help if they need it
Provide a loyalty discount reward with a personalized note
6. Optimize your website for mobile-50% of customers are on a mobile device
7. Give customers various ways to provide feedback, implement applicable feedback, address feedback directly
Utilize surveys, provide a chat online, create feedback loops, have live quarterly customer feedback sessions via social media
8. Monitor changes in customer behavior and preferences and adjust strategy and experience based on the trending results
9. Implement A.I. technology to accelerate learning and connect at a deeper level with customers, then leverage the data
10. Translate behaviors into trackable metrics to accelerate growth Conversion, Customer Retention, etc.
I help small business owners leverage Artificial Intelligence to enable more in depth and accelerated learnings around their customers. This allows them to attain more meaningful data, connect better with their customers, magnify their customers’ experience and translate all of that into:
Conversion increases of 88%-327%
Reduced customer churn of 11%-42%
Increased Rep’s time selling for more human interaction 71%-93%
Kiesha King-Brown, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Kiesha King-Brown is an experienced Business Executive that partners to help small business owners accelerate growth with strategic, AI-enhanced consulting so they can spend more time working on the business than in the business, and spend more time doing the things they enjoy. She has an MBA in Management, BSBA in Marketing, and holds certifications in Consulting and Executive Coaching. She draws her inspiration from 20 years experience at Fortune 200 companies in Executive Leadership and HR positions helping leaders build strategies, enhance development, and grow their business. Kiesha is author of "Differentiated Leadership", an Advisory Board Member for a Talent Management SaaS company, and Chief Relationship Development Officer for a Business Development SaaS company.