Having a great customer experience (CX) isn’t just for big brands. When a small- or medium-sized business (SMB) creates a CX roadmap, they differentiate themselves from the competition and win customer loyalty. However, an SMB faces unique challenges and opportunities when designing their CX.
“CX is a giant. It’s like the Grand Canyon. CX is the end-to-end customer experience and enterprises are tackling it from an internal culture, client advocacy, and employee advocacy. It’s a huge universe that SMBs can absolutely participate in by getting clear on which piece of it they can be an expert in,” advised Kerri Konik, CX expert and leader of the InspireFire agency, in an interview for this article.
Let’s take a closer look at 4 approaches that growing businesses have used to create unforgettable customer experiences.
Finding a unique value proposition
Going shopping for clothing can be overwhelming, with hundreds of stores carrying thousands of brands in a single shopping mall. Add in the chaos of online shopping, and it’s easy to see how the value proposition emerged for the online styling service, Stitch Fix. Customers fill out a profile and then stylists handpick clothing that fits each customer’s taste, budget, and lifestyle.
As the company’s founder said in an interview with Inc, “Consumers don’t want thousands of jeans they can read all these reviews of. They want to put on the one pair of jeans they look awesome in.”
SMBs have an opportunity to find an unmet need in the market, and solve that need in a unique way.
Building on connected data and technology
Technology and data can also provide a growing business with an edge in the market. Access to customer data fuels a smarter marketing strategy throughout the customer experience.
As shoe retailer Zappos has grown, they’ve taken an omnichannel approach toward customer data management and engagement. From their customer support to integrated ecommerce strategies, the brand has used technology to provide an often-cited CX success.
Serving a niche customer base
Another brand that’s wowing customers is customized fashion retailer eShakti. eShakti offers a catalog of clothing, but then allows buyers to order custom sizing, add pockets, and modify details like length and neckline. The brand has a cult following, especially for its dresses.
As Forbes writes, “The new size is custom.” Finding ways to involve the customer in the product creation process, or to further customize the selection of products available to them, attracts customers who want a hands-on role in the selection.
Offering world-class service
Your customer service can also be the differentiator that attracts customers. Beauty brand Glossier is legendary for its customer service team, known as the gTeam. According to Digiday, “The team is integrated into the larger marketing department, regularly advises on product development decisions and…. is actually helping to drive customer loyalty, retention, and conversions.”
The gTeam interacts with Glossier’s customers on a variety of channels, including social media. They recommend products and answer beauty questions. Providing end-to-end service, from product recommendations to solving delivery issues, customer service threads quality CX focus throughout every brand touch point.
Outstanding customer experiences aren’t just the province of larger businesses. Growing organizations can find ways to use technology, data, and a customer focus to stand out from the crowd and punch above their weight when winning brand loyalty.