Customer experience (CX) is top-of-mind for business leaders who are weighing how to best make decisions that encourage customer loyalty and engagement. There has been a strong push across all industries to improve the quality of experience customers have, which in turn, drives revenue growth.
Successful deployment of CX initiatives comes with challenges, however. While CX challenges exist for enterprises of all sizes, small and medium businesses (SMBs), or organizations with under 1,000 employees, face their own unique set of hurdles. Among the economic strains felt during the COVID-19 pandemic, SMBs have felt the sting the most, with over a third reporting closures throughout the past few years.
Challenges such as staffing, smaller technology stacks, and pandemic-borne issues such as supply chain delays have put SMBs in the unenviable position of maintaining customer loyalty, at a time when resources are strained, and loyalty is at a premium. SMBs are trying to maintain their current customer base when consumers are more willing to try out other brands and shopping experiences than ever before.
Improving CX is no short order for SMBs. Here, we’ll share some of their top challenges and offer tips and insights on how to address them.
Small Businesses Hit the Ground Running
In part due to their size, SMBs have a tougher CX battle than larger organizations that have more technological resources and bigger customer bases. Large organizations enjoy access to bigger swaths of data to accurately portray images of who their customers are, and how to reach them in their lifecycle.
For SMBs, this means that serious CX issues can arise when data is incomplete or not up to date. While lower-quality data can present issues for businesses of any size, SMBs particularly feel the pain when they’re unable to weave disparate data points together for a complete 360-degree view of their customers. A large enterprise will typically have backlogs of historical data that it can easily stitch together to help determine what a buyer’s next steps might be and when and how to engage.
Further, as SMBs continue to grow and scale in size, so too must their technology stacks that analyze data. SMBs need to assess if current systems within their stack are setup to intelligently bring data together to inform customer behavior. Oftentimes, SMBs that are focused on growth are operating with legacy technology. Outdated, legacy technology can hold back CX efforts, and SMBs don’t always have the same wide-reaching budgets that larger businesses have to replace old systems.
Overcoming SMB Challenges
CX is a huge priority for SMB leaders. A recent report by SurveyMonkey found that over 70% of SMB business owners identified this as their number one priority for growth. For this growth to happen, however, SMBs must be prepared to manage and analyze data.
The same report also found that data analysis and acting on data are among the top challenges SMBs face with CX. When determining CX goals, SMB leaders need to take stock of the current systems and ask themselves these three questions:
- Does our system offer a holistic understanding of our customers?
- Can it provide a snapshot view of where customers currently are?
- How do we take that view and use it to deliver superior experiences for customers?
By reflecting on this, SMBs can assess if their systems can meet customer needs and effectively reach micro-segmented audiences. From there, SMBs can draw up a CX plan and put a plan of attack in place.
Actian Data Platform offers SMBs the ability to take data within their stacks and seamlessly connect it, ensuring they can make informed, meaningful decisions. For SMBs strapped with low IT support, the Avalanche Cloud Data Platform is easy to deploy and use, offering a single solution for data integration, management, and analytics. This solution keeps costs low, while simplifying data sharing across the business.
SMBs often face challenges that larger organizations do not need to worry about. But those issues should not get in the way of creating a great CX. With thoughtful analysis and a low-cost solution in place, SMBs can overcome challenges integrating data needed for CX and create a loyal customer base.
Want to learn how Actian and the Actian Data Platform can help your organization take its CX strategy to the next level? Learn how your business can level up your CX strategy: https://www.actian.com/