Enhancing Customer Experience: 8 Best Practices for Small Businesses

Last Updated: 

July 1, 2024

We all know that customers are the main focus, and without them, companies won’t remain in business for very long.

So, how, then can you ensure you not only attract customers in the first place but also keep them coming back?

The key is in enhancing the customer experience and ensuring you have a strategy in place to start with. Here are eight of the best ways you can do that.

Key Takeaways on Enhancing Customer Experience

  1. Ease of Contact: Ensure your business is easy to contact by providing clear details like email, phone, mailing address, and an enquiry form on your website.
  2. Inbound Phone Number: Use a cloud-based inbound phone number to enhance reachability and call handling, directing customers to specific departments with touch-tone options.
  3. Exceptional Customer Service: Develop a customer service manual and involve staff in its creation to ensure consistent, high-quality service that addresses customer needs effectively.
  4. Personalised Service: Tailor your communications and marketing efforts based on customer preferences and past interactions to make them feel valued and special.
  5. Seamless Shopping Experience: Ensure your store, whether physical or online, is easy to navigate and the purchase process is smooth, offering multiple payment options.
  6. Timely Delivery: Ship products promptly and provide tracking details to customers immediately after dispatch to meet their expectations for quick delivery.
  7. Engage on Social Media: Use social media platforms to market directly to customers and engage with them by responding to comments, enhancing their overall experience.
  8. Seek Feedback: Regularly ask customers for feedback to gain insights into their preferences and areas for improvement, helping you refine your services and marketing strategies.
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1. Make sure you are easy to contact

Perhaps the easiest way to improve the customer experience is to make sure your company is easy to contact.

On your website, and in all your marketing materials, it is important to provide clear details of the various ways you can be reached.

This should include email, phone, mailing address and even an enquiry form on your website.

One of the biggest frustrations (potential) customers have is their inability to liaise with a human being from the company they purchased from or want to buy something from.

Therefore, the easier you make it for them to do so with your business, the better the customer experience you are likely to give them.

2. Get an inbound phone number

An inbound phone number works off a cloud-based system that enables you to receive phone calls and then forward them on to any location or device.

This is beneficial for small businesses as it enables owners to always be reachable via one phone number, regardless of whether they are in the office or not.

At the same time, an inbound number can help small businesses to improve their call handling capabilities by providing touch tone options that can take customers to specific departments, just by pressing 1 for sales, 2 for accounts, 3 for tech support etc.

Typically, these numbers start with 13, 13000 or 1800. They are offered by Teleca in Australia, and several other providers.

3. Make sure your employees offer world class customer service

While small businesses can’t control market conditions or the activities of their rivals, the one thing they do all have a direct influence on is the quality of customer service they provide their customers with.

When a customer has an issue or enquiry, they want to deal with an individual who is courteous, efficient, and ultimately, will help them as much as reasonably possible.

For this reason, you should invest the time to develop an extensive customer service manual to ensure all your employees provide a consistent and exceptional level of help.

It is important to include your staff in this process. As they are the ones who interact with customers daily, they are most likely to be aware of what issues they have and how they would like to be assisted.

4. Personalise your service

Customers want to feel special, and they will be more inclined to make a purchase with your company if their experience is a personalised one.

Essentially, a personalised approach to customer interactions is one that tries to tailor all communications and activities to what the company knows about them.

This could include only contacting them via one preferred communication channel e.g. email. It may also incorporate sending recommendations or special offers for products they previously bought or are similar to them.

The more your company can personalise your communications and marketing efforts with customers, the more likely they are to enjoy their shopping experience with you.

5. Make the shopping experience seamless

It doesn’t matter if you are an online business or a brick-and-mortar store, it is important to make the shopping experience as seamless as possible for the customer.

This starts from the moment they enter your store – whether that be via your shopfront or website. Both should be well laid out, easy to navigate and offer clear direction of where to complete the purchase.

You should also make the sales process as quick and smooth as possible and offer a wide range of payment options, including transfers from an online bank, to satisfy the preferences of your consumer base.

6. Deliver when you say you will

If you are running an online business, it is important to ship your products as quickly as possible to the customer.

These days, most people want a fast turnaround from the point they purchase something off your business, to when they receive it. Clearly, if you customer is based in Broome, WA and your company is shipping from Sydney, there will be an expected length of time involved.

However, the dispatching of the order is something you should ideally do as quickly as possible and tracking details should be given to the customer as soon as it has been sent.

7. Be Social

Social Media is an incredibly important tool for any small business as it enables them to not only market directly to their customers but also converse with them.

Regardless of whether you post product videos on Instagram or TikTok, links to your blog posts on Facebook or regular company updates on Twitter, you should respond to all the sensible comments you receive. Doing so can be the first step on the customer lifecycle.

8. Get Feedback

Lastly, arguably the best way to enhance your customer experience is to get feedback from them.

Patrons will have no qualms telling you what they liked and disliked about your service. So, it is important to talk to them because they will provide you with vital insights you can use to market your business and improve your overall levels of customer service.

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