Back to it – back to business – back to testing times
This time of year heralds the onset of autumn and the long haul towards (dare we say it!) the end of the year.. For small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) the fact that the holidays are behind us signals change: starting out earlier to beat the school run traffic; journeys home in dwindling daylight, and perhaps the biggest difference between school and work, was best summed up by American author Tom Bodett:
“In school you are taught a lesson and given a test: in life you are given a test that teaches you a lesson”
Tom Bodett’s quotation would also apply to running an SME, who will have a variety of obstacles to overcome during the rest of 2019. Chief among the tests facing small businesses is finding new customers, which was the top priority for 51% of SMEs according to the 2018, State of small business survey.
With that in mind, here are three hints to help SMEs gain and keep new customers.
Your customer’s journey begins with a single step
According to research, the customer journey increasingly involves internet searches, research and recommendations. For SMEs trying to reach new customers, the journey is further complicated by the increasing number of devices – smartphone, tablet, laptop, voice search, on which customers are making decisions about a purchase or a company. Research by Imparticle shows three critical stages to the customer journey – awareness – consideration and conversion. Knowing where the critical touchpoints are and ensuring potential customers can reach to your business is vital in today’s marketplace.
The emotional turn
The 2018 Chatter matters report shows 46% of consumers get information on a company from family and 45% from friends. This also shows that word of mouth (WoM) marketing is complex: 60% of (WoM) relies upon how customers feel about a company, and Harvard Business Review recently estimated that how customers feel about a company is one and a half times more important than how they think about a company. Even when customers are satisfied with a company, they may not return if they feel the company doesn’t care about them. Engaging with customers emotionally is becoming increasingly important in ensuring their return.
Engaging with how customers feel about your business
All the data shows that UK small businesses view gaining more customers as the priority in their growth strategy, despite which, according to Epson Business Council – only 29% of small businesses consider customer engagement gives them an edge over their competitors, yet as discussed above, customer satisfaction with your product or service no longer ensures customers will return. Our experience at Lime insight and strategy is that many SMEs are unaware of the potential of the short, well-designed questionnaires, sent to a limited number of customers, which can help them understand how customers feel about the customer journey and engage them more effectively.
For more information call us on 01527 888 991 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org