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Why Small and Emerging Businesses Need Professional Help to Accelerate Growth

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

2021 might be



when small businesses could remain competitive by improving their customer experience.

Adobe and Econsultancy published a report about digital trends. It mentioned how B2B companies viewed customer experience as one of the most compelling opportunities in 2020. This meant that customer experience was just as important as (if not more than) social media marketing, video marketing and content marketing.

As a small business owner, you might find it difficult to be at the forefront of developing technologies. Still, tech plays a vital role in the efficiency and growth of a business. Based on how the global business landscape has shifted in the past year, technologies will be crucial for small businesses in 2021.

While new technologies like 5G are forecasted to gain traction all over the US and Europe continually, other tech trends such as software unification, personalized marketing, and cybersecurity will also directly impact the customer experience and overall success of small businesses.

What Does Customer Experience Mean?

Let's first get one thing straight: customer experience is not the same as customer service (and 'customer success' – a term frequently used around SaaS).

According to most industry experts, customer experience entails the impression a brand builds in the minds of its customers. Therefore, customer experience can be defined as what customers think of a brand throughout each customer journey stage.

Keeping all of the above in mind, customer experience opportunities for small businesses may include:

1.Adding more support channels (like live chat) for customers so they can easily have the answers they need.

2.Increasing helpful information on your business website by publishing blog content, experience-based content, and FAQs.

3. Minimize friction or delays during the checkout process by removing unnecessary steps or shortening form fields.

4.Building business policies that revolve around how quickly you will answer customer queries or issues (for instance, responding to customer requests in no more than two business days).

5.Practicing active listening and positive communication while interacting with your customers (for instance, by allowing video conferencing for the most tricky customer issues).

6.Establishing processes for returns that consumers are comfortable with.

Don't mistake customer experience as the need to bend over backward so you can prioritize the customers' requirements over the well-being of your company. You don't necessarily need to focus on every issue faced by consumers. Instead, it would be best if you did everything possible to divert their attention away from competitors and your products and services.

Why Is Customer Experience Important in 2021?

Still, need a little convincing? Consider this: PWC published a report on the future of CX (short for customer experience), and it had some interesting stats such as:

●82% of American and 74% of non-American consumers will prefer brands that offer human interaction.

●1 in every three consumers (or 32%) believe one negative customer experience is enough for them to shift to competitor brands.

●Modern consumers prefer to pay as much as 16% more on products and services (and are bound to be loyal) when they have had a positive customer experience

But, if you plan on producing a positive customer experience, your business can increase its sales revenue, retain more customers, and develop stronger relationships with them. These benefits will increase your chances of remaining competitive in the post-pandemic business landscape.

Tech Trends for Small Business Owners

Since we mentioned earlier that 2021 is also going to be the year of success for small businesses that adopt tech trends, we have compiled the biggest technological opportunities for small business owners according to industry experts:

AI

Machine learning and artificial intelligence have been massive buzzwords in previous years. While these technologies are now being used for various business functions, more and more small businesses are expected to incorporate them into their current and future processes.

Numerous implementation scenarios range from personalized consumer experiences to voice assistance. Even though artificial intelligence sounds like something that would only be adopted by more established businesses, it is now widely adopted by smaller organizations.

Shortly, AI will help small businesses create personalized consumer experiences by automating most of their manual tasks and maximizing time spent engaging with a brand.

Software Unification

Modern workplaces are now considering technological solutions important for communication. For instance, companies are now using Slack to reduce disruptions in team communication, Salesforce to manage their customers, Outlook to send vital documents, and Basecamp to plan projects effectively.

Establishing a connection between software and work can be difficult. Therefore, small businesses should try to break these barriers with integration platforms, allowing various software to connect perfectly.

Experts predict that 2021 will finally bring an opportunity for businesses to link numerous platforms together to establish seamless communication. For instance, customer information will be simultaneously updated on all platforms if they are adjusted in one. This unification could, in turn, save small businesses a lot of time.

5G

5G, the 5th iteration of cellular capabilities, can transmit data much faster than the immensely successful 4G. Huawei, the massive cell phone manufacturer, promised much faster speeds than their 4G LTE counterparts, with very little latency.

How will this technological advancement benefit the business environment as a whole? Well, 5G has already proven to be a huge step in improving the Internet of Things (IoT) since 5G can support numerous interconnected devices at the same time. Imagine how this technology will produce sales, marketing, and customer experience benefits for tech-savvy businesses. For one, your consumers can see more digital ads on smart screens or alternative realities.

Remote Onboarding

As populations fell in urban areas, more people shifted to remote work. Since more and more businesses embraced this model and the cost-effectiveness of such operations, they can now rely on remote onboarding.

Onboarding is crucial to hiring talent and training them for their future responsibilities when the ability to connect with employees in person is out of the question, whether because of geographical locations or the pandemic, businesses are now adopting technological solutions to do so.

Technologies that ensure each step of a company's onboarding process is carefully orchestrated and planned will help companies make new employees feel welcome regardless of their size.

Technology-Assisted Shopping

In response to the pandemic and unpredictable lockdowns, most businesses switched to mobile tech, mobile scheduling, and online shopping to establish a disruption-free shopping experience.

As published by Stapes, these high-tech approaches have done more than keep people safe from the spread of the virus. For instance, most companies have moved from simple curbside pickups to mobile payments and contactless terminals.

Mobile payments were initially considered a luxury in the business world but have now managed to establish the convenience of avoiding crowded stores and long lines at the checkout. This is why tech-assisted shopping solutions have become a baseline for independent retailers. Most businesses can be seen using mobile terminals and QR codes in basic retail transactions.

Since the vaccine isn't expected to spread to critical mass in America until later this year, most of these technological solutions will remain prominent until next year and even in the post-pandemic business landscape. Staples also published that consumers have become so comfortable with this form of service that it wouldn't be surprising to see it become the new norm.

Numerous retailers are overhauling the in-store experience to be perceived as the go-to brand in the current and possibly future marketplace. Even brands like Walmart have now revamped at least 200 stores to offer airport-like customer experiences, emphasizing touchless transactions and convenience.

Hire Us to Experience the Difference

GPNN is a team of experienced IT professionals that have catered to the tech industry for several decades. Our teams include individuals proficient in digital marketing, business development, sales, project management, software development, design, and engineering.

With all this combined expertise, we offer the tools, processes, and playbooks to run your startup more efficiently. We also allow you to onboard high-quality consultants from the global pool so you can go the extra mile to exceed expectations and commitments for your customers regarding quality and delivery.


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