Enhance Customer Experience to Win Business in the Down Turn

signIn a down turn, large businesses slash staff which often leads to poorer customer service – for the small business owner it’s easier than ever to win over these disgruntled customers and increase your market share.

It’s a massive advantage to be a small business in this current economic climate.  Small businesses are generally more flexible, agile and much quicker to change or adapt than their bigger competitors.  That’s why I’m telling my clients that there’s no better time than now to seriously consider some changes to their business that will quickly enhance customer experience.

With the ubiquitous technologies available to all levels of business these days, think about the systems you could quickly integrate to win and keep new customers.  Think about how you currently interact with customers and what improvements you could make.  Think outside the box.

Maybe I’ll go in to more details on these areas individually in later posts, but to keep you thinking:

Customer information:  A spreadsheet or the database within you financial package just doesn’t cut it when you want to precisely track client activities and communications.  Can’t afford a CRM package?  Think again.  Zoho offers a hosted online CRM package FREE for 3 users.  Microsoft offers their comprehensive Dynamics CRM product as a hosted service at an affordable monthly price.

Customer enquiries:  Many customers choose to email enquiries and expect a fast response.  If you’re on the road and without access to your PC and email for hours then you will lose customers.  You need to get mobile!  Receiving email on your mobile is very simple in most cases and allows you to provide the fast response customers expect.  Do you have Small Business Server 2003/2008 already?  If so, you already have the ability to natively receive email on Windows Mobile devices, iPhone 3G and many other new phones and PDAs that support Exchange ActiveSync.

Collaborating with customers on proposals, specifications etc:  Old way – you go to customer and present, wait a few days, customer responds with issues, wait a few days, you go back to customer and present, wait a few days, customer comes to you with changes….yuk.  New way – online collaboration and meeting tools allow you and the customer to work on documents together, track changes and versions and generally work smarter together.  Heard of Windows Sharepoint Services?  It’s free and provides some of this functionality.  Want the solution but can’t afford the infrastructure to run it?  Check out Microsoft’s newly released Business Productivity Online Suite.

Seriously quick and low cost (or cost free!) ways to improve your customer experience through technology.

Clayton Moulynox – Evolve IT Australia
We fix business problems, not computer problems –  Develop, Solve, Evolve.
Follow me on Twitter: @claytonhm

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