Small businesses are known for their personal touch. In fact, many people love to shop at small businesses precisely because they tend to offer a more personalized experience than big box stores like Walmart or Target. Medium and large companies are also starting to recognize the importance of the customer experience. Many large corporations have recently begun investing in programs and processes to create an exceptional customer experience.
How Customer Experience Affects Small Businesses
There are several ways in which the customer experience can affect small businesses. One of the most apparent effects of a bad customer experience is lost revenue. When customers have a terrible experience at your business, they are less likely to make repeat purchases or recommend your company to other potential customers. We’ve all heard the term “once bitten, twice shy.” Customers who have a terrible experience will likely be very reluctant to try your business again in the future, even if you make changes to correct the situation. And the ramifications of a bad customer experience don’t stop there. A bad customer experience can also impact your brand equity, employee retention rate, and ability to recruit new employees.
The Importance of the Customer Experience
Customers expect a lot these days. While they used to be satisfied with having easy access to products, they now want to be treated well while shopping. When customers feel they’re not being treated well, they’re not likely to return. Many businesses aren’t even aware that they’re treating their customers poorly, but the signs are there. Customers are quick to share their bad experiences online and through word-of-mouth, which means that businesses need to be aware of how they treat customers. Take a look at your business as though you’re the customer. Would you be happy with the service you’re receiving? If not, there’s a chance that your customers are feeling the same way.
Benefits of a Great Customer Experience
There are many benefits to having a great customer experience, including:
- Increased Sales: Customers who have a positive experience are more likely to buy again. This can be especially beneficial for small businesses that rely on repeat customers.
- Decreased Turnover: Employees who have a terrible experience dealing with customers are more likely to quit their jobs. Having a positive customer experience can help businesses retain employees and decrease the turnover rate in a company.
- Increased Profits: Having happy customers who have a positive experience can help improve a business’s profits. This is especially true if customers are willing to spend more money due to their great experience.
- Positive Public Relations: Customers who have a great experience at a business are more likely to post positive reviews about that business on websites like Yelp. This can help improve a small business’s public relations and increase its positive brand image.
How to Create a Great Customer Experience
The first step in creating a great customer experience is understanding your customers. You’ve likely heard this advice before, but it’s essential. The more you know about your customers, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to create a great experience for them.
Improving your customer experience needs to start with the customer, so asking for their feedback will give you an insight into what they feel about your company. Making things easier for them, such as having an easy to navigate website and checkout process, can help to improve the customer experience, as can having good stock availability and good customer service both in-person and online by using the best live chat service along with efficient employee training and improved knowledge about your sector, services or products.