The events of the past year have forced many small businesses to make drastic changes in how they run their business. Whether you are a retailer, a telecommunication business, a financial service, restaurant, brick and morter shop provider, reinventing the customer experience was one of the cornerstones of small business success for companies across most industries.

This new reality has changed the way people work, rest, play, shop, and interact with each other and small businesses had to either react or be left behind. According to research, up to 90% of businesses have taken urgent measures to adapt their customer experience strategy to the new normal in 2020 and beyond. Even one in four of them claims they completely revamped their approach to customer experience. That’s good news. Have you?

The Customer Experience is gaining an increasing amount of attention and will continue to do so in the future. The prediction for 2021 is that the number of businesses that will improve their customer experience quality will double if compared with the previous year. This means an even more increase in small businesses reinventing themselves, higher customer experience expectations, and the adoption of new well-suited technology to support improvements in customer interactions and operations.

This pandemic has made small businesses consider revising their approaches to the customer experience. Business owners need to place the future of customer experience at the forefront of their 2021 business strategies. These customer experience trends will certainly keep gaining momentum in 2021.

Here is what you need to be focusing on in your business to reinvent your business in a positive way.

  1. How Will This Affect Your Customer Journey

New customer onboarding, marketing and sales processes, product delivery, customer service, repurchases, handling complaints, returns, customer feedback and many other aspects of the customer experience have been disrupted. While some consumer behaviors will be here to stay, touch points in their customer journey will be constantly changing in the upcoming months as small businesses will keep testing out new touchpoints and approaches to customer interactions.

ACTION ITEM: Be sure to take a look at your present customer journey and test out several customer touch points to define best practices specifically for your small business.

2. Empathy and Emotions

 92% customers will return if they were touched emotionally by a business  

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I have always said that the Customer Experience is about building relationships that are trustful, customer-focused, and value-based. Today, for any small business, these principles are more important than ever. It’s what makes small business have an advantage over the big box stores and online retailors. In these times of uncertainty and self-isolation, people are seeking feelings of human connection, trust, safety, and security. This is precisely why empathy and customer relationships will be a must to succeed in 2021. Businesses that are able to resonate with customers will be on the winning side.

ACTION ITEM:  Make sure you tailor customer experiences that deliver a sense of empathy and support. Use your tone of voice to help your business build rapport with customers to compensate for the lack of human interaction.

3. Do You Have a Digital Presence

             89% of US customers expect companies to                 have an online self-service option

Today, self-service is becoming a far more likable option among customers. Customers expect you to have an online self-service support portal in place. It means self-service solutions are quickly becoming a new necessity.

ACTION ITEM: Take time to identify and anticipate the most common customer queries. Think of a strategy to boost customer engagement with your business through any self-service strategies. Particularly if you can implement a no-touch transaction in your business.  

2020 has certainly disrupted many customer experience strategies and accelerated how we look at what will reshape the customer experience in the coming years, By keeping this in mind, businesses will be able to prepare themselves for the challenges of 2021. Business owners should
remember putting their customers at the heart of everything they do. In 2021, the Customer Experience will be about maintaining rapport and relationships with your customers above all else.

Therefore, the companies that will be able to connect through the right experience will win customer loyalty and reap the benefits of returning customers. Now that would be Magical!

Need help in reinventing your Customer Experience in 2021. Contact John at info@johnformica.com