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Customer Experience Matters for Small Businesses

As a small to medium business owner, you’re sure to always be on the lookout for ways to improve your business, attract more customers and increase your turnover. This will to a long way towards ensuring a steady cash flow which is vital for small businesses here in the UK if they want to survive and avoid falling into debt. Today we’re taking a look at customer satisfaction. Last month saw the publication of the latest UK Customer Survey Index (UKCSI) by the Institute of Customer Service, Britain’s independent, professional organisation for customer service which sets and upholds the standards necessary to improve business performance through service with the aim of ensuring that the UK is deemed a place to experience great service at all times. The results of the survey, which involved more than 40,000 individual customer experiences, represent good news for both customers and businesses here in the UK. Customer satisfaction has increased by 0.8 points (out of a score of 10) since this time last year and is at its highest point since July, 2013. Trust in UK organisations has improved with a sharp increase in the number of customers reporting that they are satisfied with complaint handling procedures. This seems to suggest that businesses have taken on board the need to improve customer satisfaction but the survey also revealed that customer efforts have also increased, implying that consumers are finding it difficult to get what they want and are less likely to recommend brands to others. The survey results do seem to suggest that businesses are working on building customer satisfaction, but they’ll need to do more in future to help reduce customer effort and deliver a great customer experience. If you own a small to medium business and you’re looking to improve your customers’ experience by making it easier, then why not harness technology to do so. Giving your agents the power to make a decision and resolve a customer’s problem quickly and efficiently, you can increase trust in your brand and deliver a better customer experience. One of the most frustrating issues for customers is not being able to speak to a person if they have a query or a complaint. Customer service really does depend on being able to address a problem or query promptly with an expert without having to wait hours for a webchat reply or spending twenty minutes or so going through an automated telephone process. Every single interaction a customer (or prospective customer) has with a brand will inform their perception of that brand and their attitude towards it. We’re living in a Digital Age when most retailers have websites that can be easily accessed to order goods. This means that if a potential customer does not find the answers they want quickly and easily on your business website, they will look (and probably buy) elsewhere. Next week we’ll have some help and advice for you on improving your customers’ experience with your brand so that you can build an army of brand advocates who will spread the word to friends and family and help increase your sales in an organic manner.