If you are at a stage with your small business that growth is on the horizon, that is incredibly exciting and typically means that you are doing all the right things. One common misstep that happens with growth though, is that in some cases, business owners forget about the beginning, and what got them to where they are, specially their first stream of customers in the earliest days of their journey. As you know, sales are what is going to drive your business forward, but you don’t just get sales, you have to do work on the front end to encourage people to give you a high sales volume. Pay attention to current market trends as they relate to your specific target market. While it is important to prioritize innovation and modernity, you want to find ways to marry the old with the new, to increase both customer retention, and new customer acquisitions as you grow.
It could be argued that at this stage of consumerism, the majority of it is happening online as opposed to in person. What that means for you, is that you have to be able to keep up with what online shoppers are looking for in terms of process, otherwise they will move on to your competition in the name of simplicity, even if you have a better product or price.
The software that you use to track shipments should be user friendly in terms of what you and your staff need, as well as what information you hope to gain from it, to share with your customers. People want shipping updates in real time, accurate delivery date estimations, and the opportunity to be alerted instantly if any delays are happening. You can use GPS fleet tracking software and solutions to track your fleet with real time GPS data. Options like those included in Samsara’s tracking solutions should fit the bill nicely. With this software you can grow your business in terms of fleet management, and still put the needs of your customers at the top of your list.
Maybe you started your business with a plan that at the time you thought was the one and only, best plan ever, but now that you have some momentum behind you, you are realizing that you want to tweak it a bit. This is terribly common. Rebranding specifically is something that entrepreneurs think about often. Is our brand sending the right message? Does our brand make a positive contribution to society? Will our brand draw customers to our business and keep them there? And the list of questions goes on.
If you are unsure of exactly what rebranding is, and why it is necessary for business, that is also quite common. In simple terms, it refers to a process that a company uses to attempt to change the perception of their brand. Having said that you can see why it is essential to consider your customers when you are going through a rebranding. You want to achieve an outcome that leaves enough familiarity of the old brand to retain current customers but outstanding enough to hook new ones, especially those who may have passed you over formally.
Thanks to technology people have reached a point where their expectations in terms of timelines is right now as a default. While this can be frustrating for business owners who worry they will not be able to meet such stern demands, when you are revamping your customer service for growth, you have a huge opportunity to shoot your shot. Artificial intelligence can quickly become your next best employee if you let it. Chatbots, and around the clock customer service solutions mean that not only can you meet the expectations of your target market, but you can also potentially free up a current employee from these tasks and reassign them as needed moving forward.
Convenience and Ease
Right alongside the expectation of speedy customer service, is the demand for convenience and ease from the overall experience of working with your business. People want everything from a user-friendly website to a simple checkout process when online shopping, just to name a few. While this might seem intimidating, with the help of the proper IT solutions, it really is not. First, take a look at your website, how many clicks does it take to get the user to where they want to be? If people have to do a ton of scrolling and clicking and follow multiple redirects, they might get annoyed and leave the site in favor of an easier experience.
Payment is another one of the main types of customer needs to consider here. How up to date is your business in this area? Traditionally, accepting cash, check, or credit was enough, but for the modern consumer, it surely is not. Think about how you can incorporate things like PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, and even Cryptocurrency as acceptable forms of payment. Even if you are unfamiliar with these options, there are people out there who use them exclusively to pay for things, and you won’t want to miss out on their business just because your set up was not modern enough.