When it comes to what makes or breaks a business, there are a lot of factors that come into play. Arguably, however, one of the most important factors that contributes to the success of small business (and bigger companies, too) is the customer experience (CX). Even if your customer experience is okay, it could be what’s stopping you from entering new realms of success for your business. Customer experience is vital for long term business success, and there are many ways to improve it. One of the most effective ways to make your customer experience infinitely better is automation. Now, many small businesses believe investing in automation is for larger companies and they can’t afford it. However, if you’re trying to do everything yourself or with limited staff, it can add unnecessary stress and pressure, which will be passed onto your customers. Or, it can be costing you revenue because opportunities are falling through the cracks. So, in this article, I’ll be discussing why your small business needs automation to improve the customer experience, and how you can implement automation into your strategy today.
Automation is good for business for many reasons, just take these stats for example: 86% of shoppers are willing to pay more for better customer experience and 73% of consumers consider customer experience an important factor that affects their purchasing decisions. Furthermore, time-consuming customer service processes like ordering, shipping, post-sale follow-up and the like can easily be automated, and there’s no reason for it not to be. Not only does it free up your time, but it also provides customers with a more consistent experience, ensuring no one falls through the cracks and everyone feels like they’re valued. Also, automation can help you collect additional data and insights to help you finesse processes and improve the experience customers have with your company. For example, customer service automation tools like website chat boxes and help desks help make sure customers can have their questions answered, and more often than not without the need for human interaction. The benefit of this? The speed of the order is boosted, the customer is happier, the sale goes through and the customer then tells their wider network what a great experience they had with your business.
Marketing automation helps you close more leads, and close them faster. The faster you reply to an initial inquiry, the more chance you have of closing a sale. In fact, according to a study by Lead Connect, 78% of customers buy from the company that responds to their inquiry first. Meanwhile, sales conversions are 391% higher when inbound leads are contacted within the same minute they submit an inquiry. Automation helps with this by sending out an email (or SMS) as soon as an inquiry comes in and also notifies the sales team to call them. This way your potential customer hears back from your company immediately, they know you have received their inquiry, and you can set expectations on what will happen next. You can even send a calendar link to book in a consultation or site visit, or let them know someone will call them within the hour or provide additional helpful information - whatever is relevant and important to your potential customer. All of these processes can (and should) be automated.