Every small and medium business owner wants see his / her firm grow big one day, isn’t it? Everyone realizes that over the years, way of doing business environments has changed dramatically. However not many realize that one ground principle has remained untouched – Companies which are not customer centric never grow. Though on the first sight this seems obvious, there is much more reason and relevance to this in the current social era. Keep reading to find out more.
Customer Experience is a key to growth of your small and medium enterprise
I was recently a popular magazine which featured the stories of successful Indian entrepreneurs, including the founders of Flipkart, Paytm and a few others.These companies were shortlisted based on a mix their compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) and well as future potential for growth. One striking thing which was common and that every founder was in a way conscious of the fact that organizations grow only if the customers are happy. I am sure that they did many things right and there were other factors which contributed to their success, but their commitment towards making their buyers satisfied was surely something that got them going in a big way.
Even if we look globally, we find growth stories of companies like Google Olx and Amazon. All of them were small when they started, but the only reason why they become big is because they indeed offered value to end users and gradually became a part of their lives.
So let’s look the 3 simple to understand fundamentals.
Eventually its people buying from people
It doesn’t matter if you are a B2B or a B2C set up. Eventually your buyers are people. If they find that your product or services meet their need and also that you will genuinely support them, if required, they would want to buy from you.
Customer Experience is the key – Everyone agrees but only a few deliver
How many times do we see people complaining about products / services? As a small business, your customers would be skeptical of buying from you if they are not assured of the quality and service levels. As a matter of fact “Only 1 out 10 businesses in the world has basic systems to register and track customer complaints”. As a SMB if you can offer this to your buyers, you will gain their trust and sell easily.
Customer Acquisition versus Retention
You would have heard it before. It is easier to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. If you are not customer centric, you would have work hard to generate enough leads just to make up for the attrition.
So as a Small Business Owner what does it mean?
This means the following things to the small business owners
Inculcate the customer orientation in your team.
Play role reversal ask them to put themselves in customer’s shoes and see what can be improved. Often people see things differently if they are customer. This step is instrumental in getting out the best from your staff.
Invest in a CRM application.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, but you should track your customers and should know who they are and if their concerns are being addressed. CRM application like SugarCRM and VTiger are cost effective and have the lowest cost of ownership. You can put in money more money into IT as you grow.
Measure a customer how easy is it to reach out for support
Benchmark it with your other competitors in a neutral way and position it as your selling point once you think you are best in your league. For example does your wordpress website have the option to register a new lead or a complaint?
The following are misconceptions and must be hence should be avoided. The reason is also mentioned along with the point.
I am too small right now. Let me invest in customers when I grow big.
Two reason. It is easier to implement a system when you are small. It gets difficult to inculcate customer orientation as your grow big. Secondly, you will never ever get your data / analysis in place if you don’t start early. Remember every good initiative takes time to show you return.
No one around me is doing it why should I?
The matter of the fact is that if you do this, this will set you ahead of others. So don’t benchmark yourself with the worst. Compare yourself vis-à-vis other customer centric companies.
I am in a non technology business and I am not so tech savvy. Why should I invest into IT?
IT is not meant to serve only technology companies. Conventional businesses have invested into IT because it makes them better prepared and offer higher value to their customers. Most of the modern day CRM applications are very intuitive and easy to use.
Feedback and Suggestions
I sincerely hope that you enjoyed reading the article as much as I enjoyed putting it for you. I would love to hear back from you. If you have any suggestion / comments, do let me know and I will try my best to revert on that.