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Small Business Customer Service: How to Win Big
In News You Already Knew: Brick and mortar shops with a robust online presence are more likely to have higher sales and a stronger brand image. With online sales projected to grow nearly 12% in 2017, and the overall retail industry growing at 4%, small businesses can secure a competitive advantage by adding one key tool to their online arsenal: responsive, versatile small business customer service.
While the world is texting, chatting, scrolling, swiping, and liking, small businesses are catching a busy signal:
· Two-thirds of retail and e-commerce SMBs still only use voice or email
· Only one-third offer relatively newer forms of communication (text, chat, social media)
You know how your customers like to shop, but do you know how they like to connect with you? The vast majority of Consumers prefer other forms of communications besides voice or email for general support — live chat being the #1 choice. Businesses that offer a broad range of online communication choices will resolve inquiries more effectively and convert more browsers to purchasers.
These trends aren’t going anywhere as the younger generations* go fully digital:
Small business owners are no strangers to adapting to the ever-changing needs of the customer. Providing a multi-communication approach to customer service is no exception, and should absolutely be prioritized. This news can be daunting to small businesses, considering:
· 77% of smaller businesses handle customer service in-house
· 45% of Consumers expect responses in under one minute on live chat
· Customers need responsive service after hours and on weekends
Luckily, there are ways to meet customer demand, provide excellent service, and not go broke.
Source: * “America’s Retailers Have a New Target Customer: The 26-Year-Old Millennial” Wall Street Journal, Oct 10, 2017