Customer Expectations Are Rising & Small Business Owners Being Held Accountable

The Mindset of A Typical Small Business Shopper Is Shifting 

Thanks in part to major tech companies, your customer’s expectations are changing.  Therefore, you must adapt to provide a better user experience (UX).  You will see us reference the term UX or CX (customer experience) throughout this article.  These phrases are becoming as common as to “Google” something is now considered a verb.

For the last two decades, technology has evolved at the speed of light.  Enterprise companies have become pioneers while small businesses have often been left behind.  Due in large part by the sheer reach of the conglomerates, who have hundreds of thousands if not millions of users, certain assumptions have been hard-wired into the customer, client, patient, or shoppers’ expectations.

For example, say you have had a small business retail shop, nestled in the cute downtown, in any Small Town in America.  You have noticed over the last few years that fewer people are physically visiting your store, and more people are asking on Facebook for your website address.  Then, add Covid-19 into the mix and your retail livelihood came to a screeching halt.

You are faced with two options, adapt and go online or close your doors.  The challenge is, for a small business owner, you don’t ship millions of products daily like Amazon, but customers expect that you’ll deliver your custom, locally crafted whatever to their doorstep in 2 days or less, for free.

Fret not, you have options.

Step One: Start With An Excellent Digital Experience

This is the first impression someone makes about your business.  You can live in la-la-land and believe people don’t judge, but you would be sorely mistaken.  It doesn’t matter if you are a retail store, home service business, law firm or physician, the micro-moment when someone visits your website sets the tone for your credibility.

“You mean to tell me this dentist wants to work on my mouth but their website is 12 years old and I had to squint to find their phone number???” – real thought.  “If they can’t afford a few thousand dollars to address their website, how good of a dentist are they really” – real thought.  “This dental practice doesn’t care enough about my experience with finding them online.” Real thought.

No matter what business you are in, the first perception of legitimacy is answering yes to these simple questions.  Do you have a website?  The second qualifier is, does my website offer whoever visits it a good experience or a bad one?  People care, your customers care, and you must deliver.

Step Two: Interact With Your Customers

Listen, I don’t care what type of business you are in, there is a sales component so let’s put that myth to bed.  We are all in sales, to a degree.  You may be the primary doctor at your Chiropractic clinic but, if nobody or no technology is selling for you, then new patients are not coming through the door and you are not a D.C. for long.

Now that the myth is busted, let’s get down to business.

Once you have addressed your website, pulling it into the 2020s, the next CX stems around engagement. How are you handling the interactions with your customers?  First, you need to be responsive.  When they call, they expect to speak to a live person at your company.  Not a generic answering service that mispronounces your business name and does not know the first thing about roof repair.  It is simple, have a plan to answer your phone.

In the event, you are an owner-operator and are the one who primarily answers the phone, but you are with a customer, what do you do?  That scenario is ok, handle the client you are closest to first.  Then, immediately call back the missed call.  This will separate you from so many other businesses that, this minor detail can immediately win you a new customer.

Step 3: Do Not Ignore Steps #1 and #2

Your goal is to care for your customers and ensure you are capturing new ones.  If you do not complete the first two steps above, you are not following through with the simplest of goals and you are undoubtedly not meeting your customer’s expectations.

The good news is, creating an award-winning experience for your customers or patients is within reach. At LūME Sales & Marketing Agency, we have created custom solutions that are professional, affordable, and help you improve your overall CX.

Small businesses are being held accountable.  Your customers are holding you accountable.  If you want to get ahead and have a step up on the competition, take action now and watch your brand loyalty, retention, and new customer engagement soar.

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