Business

Customer Experience Trends for Small Businesses

Customer Experience (CX) is vital for the acquisition and retainment of customers. Businesses are looking for customer service solutions to improve customer experience.

By doing so, they meet growing consumer expectations. It also helps them to keep up with their competitors.

We take a look at some of the customer experience trends that many businesses are now using.

Customer Experience Trends for Small Businesses

Real-time customer support to improve customer experience

Slow loading times cause customers to abandon their visits. Website owners will already know this. Furthermore, the delay of even a couple of seconds is an issue.

So how will customers feel about waiting even longer to speak to someone in person? Or receive a reply to an email?

We live in a world where people expect things instantly. Hence, real-time customer support gives your business an advantage over your competitors.

Common ways to achieve a great customer experience with real-time support include:

  • Chatbots
  • Live chat
  • FAQs
  • Knowledge bases

However, there are many specialised online tools available.

Example: Banks are using automated robot advisors using customer data and input responses. Helping customers choose the right financial products.

Using chatbots to improve customer experience

Chatbots are a great addition to providing a better customer experience. Usually available directly on the web page.

Visitors should no longer have to wait in call queues or wait for an email reply. Quick answers help customers with buying decisions. All this while they are still on the website.

They are also Artificially Intelligent (AI). A cheaper way to provide 24 / 7 real-time support. In contrast to employing an army of customer service staff. They can also manage large numbers of customers.

Now, they even make use of machine learning. So chatbots also get better with experience.

Support mobile users to improve customer service

Mobile phones are the primary device on which people search the internet. Thus, ensuring optimised customer support for smartphones is vital.

It begins with a mobile-first approach to web design. Many businesses make use of web apps to do the job.

Allowing visitors to contact customer service via calls or chat is crucial. Make sure that online chat or chatbots are easy to use on mobile devices.

Personalised customer support for improved customer experience

Personalisation is a part of CX and is now expected in customer experience too.

The same foundation for personalising other aspects of your business are required. Such as marketing and communications.

Your business must assure customers receive support at the correct times. Messages should be both appropriate and consistent.

Regardless of who the customer is talking to (human or AI) or on which channel. Businesses need to consolidate data. It enables them to map the customer journey.

But across all touch-points. It means getting moving all data to centralised storage – often in the cloud.

By consolidating data, you will be in a better position to segment your customers.

Analysing customer profiles will enable them to produce data-driven strategies. Which then provides the most appropriate support for individuals, including vulnerable customers.

Linking customer experience with marketing

Modern customer service interactions have a focus on sales, especially on online chat.

Customers want to ask questions about products and are keen to discuss needs and doubts.

The information they provide to the company during those conversations can be vital. It also helps the company provide them with the right sales advice.

In this sense, customer service calls offer opportunities for improving sales.

When the CX is good, the customer is more likely to return.

Crisis management

Businesses are improving customer experience to deal with two different types of situations. These are:

  • a company crisis that affects the customer, and
  • personal distress affecting customers.

A crisis can come in any form. Maybe your business might have services go offline. Or you could experience a data leak. You could have partial closure or disruption due to natural disasters.

All of which can impact the customers. A good example is the covid-19 pandemic.

Customer experience is vital during these times to minimise the impact. Reassure concerned customers and ensure that those who need help can still get it.

Providing support during crises involves customer communications. Deliver messages quickly. Real-time customer service in this scenario is vital to reassure and provide assistance.

In times of crisis, technologies like video chat are especially vital. Be prepared for customers who still demand face to face conversations.

Where the customer is facing a crisis, they too want real-time support.

Some scenarios where this could be applicable:

  • a mortgage customer made unemployed
  • a driver has broken down on the motorway
  • a homeowner whose house has flooded.

Businesses are using customer journey information and real-time communication channels.

It ensures that empathetic support is always available. But at the same time, personalised around the specific needs of those customers.

Conclusion

Businesses are having to make considerable improvements to their customer experience. As a result, they meet the expectations of the modern consumer.

Increasingly, customer experience needs personalisation. Available in real-time and deliverable across a range of channels and devices.

Putting these things in place means adopting transformative, cloud-based technologies. It can include data analytics, chatbots and AI.

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