Ready to take your small business to the next level? Avoid these mistakes and achieve your goals faster.
Published date: 19 February 2023
Starting a small business can be incredibly exciting from choosing and designing your store, uploading products and watching the first few sales come in. While you might have a great-looking store, an impeccably-made product and the best payment gateway in Africa you can easily alienate customers by providing a poor customer experience.
According to the 2022 South Africa CX Report, when shoppers were asked what encouraged them to do repeat purchases from a store, Reliability was cited as the most important factor by 72% of respondents. Andrew Hutchinson, Merchant Success Lead at Peach Payments explains “It’s clear that customers want consistent and great service”. So here are 3 common support mistakes SMEs make and how to fix them.
1. Lack of Good, Clear Communication with their Customers
Talking to an actual person goes a long way. Everyone can relate to some bad customer service they have received in the past, where the responses are all automated and from a chatbot. “A human interaction when you are receiving customer service makes you feel heard and allows customers to voice their challenges and receive immediate feedback,” says Andrew. The ideal outcome for customers is to feel like they have been heard. This tends to make them more likely to return to that business in the future.
2. Not managing Your Customer’s Expectations
It is imperative that small business owners manage their customers’ expectations around the service they can expect. Customers who know who they're dealing with on the other end of the email/phone, and are given an estimated timeframe on how long they might have to wait for a query to be resolved, will be far happier and are less likely to be critical of your business.. Good customer experience starts with being clear and honest.
3. Doing Everything Yourself
Launching a small business allows business owners to live out their dream. It makes sense then that they would want to retain as much control as possible, but this can easily backfire. For instance, some business owners may try to do everything, which means balls might get dropped. While it’s true that there are many successful one-person startups, even they receive support from others, in the form of outsourced services or mentorship.
How Do You Fix This?
“Be objective when considering your skills and abilities and think about where you might currently be falling short. For instance, if you have groundbreaking ideas for services but no idea how to reach customers, work with a digital marketer. Or, maybe you're doing a great job engaging with your audience on social media but are struggling to manage your finances - in this case, contracting an accountant could help. Consider your strengths and weaknesses, and ideate solutions!” concludes Andrew.
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