Every consumer market is driven by the consumers. CEOs, executives, marketing professionals, and so on all make their decisions based on the needs, wants, and whims of one lowly person — the customer. While huge corporations are already on the bandwagon of doing everything they can to provide their customers with the best experience possible, many small businesses overlook the importance of CX to their company. Failing to put a CX strategy into place can cost you the brand loyalty that your company needs to thrive.
When you’re heading out to the grocery store to pick up a few things for the weekend, where are you more likely to go: the corner market with a tiny parking lot in the back, or your neighborhood Wal-Mart? No matter what your industry, you will be up against the big guys whose brands are already well established. And if you want to run with the big dogs, you have to stay one step ahead of them by giving your customers a reason to choose you rather than them.
A few short years ago, brand image was largely about what you were trying to tell your customers with your marketing tactics. Not so anymore, when consumers have come to expect a feast at every meal and information at their fingertips 24/7. From the ambiance of your place of business to the customer service you provide to the navigability of your website, the entire experience must be seamless if you want repeat business.
People used to put up with a few perceived shortcomings to remain loyal to their companies of choice. Today, however, consumers are less loyal than they ever have been before. One bad fry is grounds for complaint, refund, and a whole box of free fries to boot. In a market ruled by the idiom, “The customer is always right,” customers can and will demand just about anything. And today, customers demand a fully integrated experience wherever they go.
Sure, word-of-mouth sharing still happens — it’s just that virtual sharing is so much more far-reaching. The big companies all have a few bad reviews; but for a small business, especially a local one, a single bad review could mean the loss of dozens of customers or more.
A CX team can be a vital asset to your small business. Web design, marketing, ORM, and social media management can all be effectively outsourced, but customer experience hits a little closer to home. And as the tech-savvy Millennials are comprising a larger and larger share of consumers, your small business simply cannot do without a strong customer experience strategy.