Consumers’ loyalties certainly aren’t etched in stone as we enter the new year—in fact, only 12 percent of respondents to a new survey from marketing automation firm ActiveCampaign said big-box retailers exceed their overall customer experience expectations, signaling ample opportunity for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to swoop in and gain their loyalty.
And yet while there is opportunity, challenges still remain: 76 percent of consumers said big-box retailers are better than SMBs at solving their customer experience problems, and 71 percent said big-box retailers are better at responding to them in a timely manner. While many growing businesses are trying their hand at TikTok virality, NFTs and the metaverse, this data proves flashy tactics aren’t the answer to improving the customer experience at scale.
As small businesses prepare for 2023, their top customer experience priorities should be problem-solving and response times.
SMBs can gain more market share in 2023 by focusing on the customer experience. If SMBs fail to provide fast customer service in 2023, they are going to fall behind.
Here are the firm’s top 3 small business tips to improve customer experience and beat large retailers in 2023:
Automate your CRM
When businesses incorporate automation into their sales process, they will close far more deals, without any extra effort or manually managing time-consuming processes. One key reason their automation will be so much more effective is because the CRM is so personalized, using each prospect’s behavior to trigger the right next message—all the way to closing the deal.
“Every small business has its own unique products and services. Therefore, every small business should have its own unique customer experience as well,” said Jason VandeBoom, founder and CEO of ActiveCampaign, in a news release. “Loyal customers are going to expect fast response times and 1:1 customer service. As businesses scale, it gets harder to maintain those 1:1 experiences. To do so, they will need to automate routine tasks, including their CRM and email marketing. By implementing automation where this technology shines, humans can focus on talking and listening to their customers.”
Save time and focus more on customers
Nearly half of businesses using automation report that they now spend more time talking to customers because of time saved. Small businesses, especially, rely on automation to combat the tight bandwidth of a small team and limited resources. That’s why the general population shouldn’t be fearful of automation taking over jobs, but optimistic about the better experiences and balance it provides.
Get more out of your transactional message
With an automation service, businesses can send transactional emails such as confirmation orders, password resets and shipping notifications that are branded and provide information that goes beyond that one automated message. Additionally, transactional communication allows consumers to respond to the brand’s messages, whereas most of the time they are sent from email@example.com. All of these features enable businesses to solve customer problems and get back to them faster.