There is a lot of excitement surrounding the upcoming Small Business Saturday on November 30. No doubt there are different strategies and tactics for smaller businesses versus Fortune 500 size businesses, but in the end, all businesses, regardless of size, want to be successful. Some of the strategies that work for small businesses won’t work for big—and vice-versa. I scoured the earth (by which I mean I talked to some friends) to find some great tips to help celebrate Small Business Saturday—that may also work for large businesses as well.
1. Invest in an e-signature program to create an easier customer experience. (Lisa Croft, group product marketing manager at Adobe Document Cloud)
Using e-signatures is fast and convenient for your customers. According to Croft, “With existing Forrester research suggesting that each document signed manually costs 1.3 hours and $11 in time spent, small businesses can save significant time and money by implementing an electronic signature solution. In addition to reducing costs, e-signatures are a value-add for vendors and they provide a streamlined customer experience, which drives customer loyalty. For many of the 30 million small businesses in the U.S. alone, paperwork is still grinding productivity to a halt, so implementing an e-signature solution will propel you down the paperless path to success.”
2. Tell your story with eye-pleasing graphic design using a simple program that will help you create budget-friendly promotional materials. (Frits Habermann, CEO of PicMonkey)
Sometimes simple is easy and even inexpensive. This subscription model program includes hundreds of templates and editing tools to make graphic design easy and affordable. Habermann says, “Although small businesses may not have the generous budget of big-time companies, small businesses can leverage photo editing and graphic design applications like PicMonkey to design low-cost, professional-grade promotional materials that can be published online, printed or posted on social media.”
3. Have a reliable and technically innovative phone system. (Ken Narita, director of business marketing at Ooma, Inc.)
Good phone systems don’t have to be expensive. Even less expensive options will have many, if not all, of the options you need. There are plenty of good ones out there, but I like what Narita has to say. “Even in today’s world, the phone is still the lifeline of the small business. You must never miss an important call, whether in or out of the office. Today, our customers have an on-demand mindset, so if they call a company to gather information or make a purchase and their call is not answered, they’re quick to reach out to competitors. Having a reliable and innovative phone system that can be accessed from anywhere at any time can guarantee that you never miss an important phone call or potential sale.”
4. Have multiple payment options for your customer’s convenience. (Gary Specter, global head of GTM, Commercial Business, Adobe)
Want to cut down on shoppers abandoning items in their cart before clicking the final “pay” button? Customers want an easy and safe experience. Specter says, “For many online shoppers, a great payment experience can consist of several factors including processing speed, flexible method of payment, mobile-enabled, and security. In approaching payment as a strategic differentiator, online merchants can remove barriers to purchase and successfully set themselves apart from the competition.”
5. Align your workforce with your organization’s values, strategies and goals. (Jason Mander, chief research officer at GlobalWebindex)
All employees need to be in alignment with the company’s (and leadership’s) vision. Mander shares insights in his firm’s research report that finds, “Ninety percent of aligned workers know what they need to do in their roles to be successful. Not only will this net positive results for employees, but will save companies precious dollars, as backfilling roles due to employee turnover costs employers roughly 20% of that position’s salary in hiring, recruiting, and onboarding costs, which can be huge for any business.”
6. Deliver better human interactions for your customers. (Tom Goodmanson, CEO of Calabrio)
It’s easy to become enamored with technology that appears to make life easier for the customer. Some companies are so enamored that they disconnect the customer—removing their ability to connect with a human being. This is a big mistake. As Goodmanson so eloquently stated in his keynote address at his company’s customer event, “Even with all the great technology happening in the customer service and CX world, we can’t replace people. There must always be human-to-human interaction to fall back on when the customer needs it.”
There you have it— six tips and tactics to help your business, small or large, create an amazing customer experience. Whether you have one customer or one million customers, investing in CX is a sure-fire way to succeed. You’ve heard the phrase, “small but mighty.” Why not spend this upcoming Small Business Saturday turning your small (or large) business’s CX into a mighty force to be reckoned with?