Intelligent SME.tech Issue 23 - Page 25

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// PREDICTIVE INTELLIGENCE //

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE SOLUTIONS FOR SMES : how important is it ?

Consumer values are continuously evolving and are vital to any business , especially to SMEs . Chris Sparling , CX Strategy Director at Reputation , talks to us about why customer experience matters and how start-ups can provide a positive one .
USTOMER EXPERIENCE ( CX )

C is a vital part of any business and for SMEs with relatively smaller customer bases , it is particularly important . Understanding how your brand is perceived is crucial to understanding your business ’ strengths and weaknesses . Once those are established , you ’ re on the route to acting and planning for success .

The importance of CX for SMEs
In the UK , complaints have reportedly risen to their highest level on record – in part due to staffing shortages . Handling this issue alone is costing British businesses £ 9 billion a month in lost staff time .
For companies of all sizes , the pandemic put CX at centre stage . With employees and customers based at home , businesses invested in digital channels , leading to more online traffic and therefore a greater need for better customer engagement . Ultimately , CX has become vital for keeping customers on-side and reinforcing your business ’ relationships .
Understanding customers and digital audiences can be complicated , but it is essential . Bad reviews can cause longterm business damage , severely impacting your reputation and revenue . For smaller businesses , it might only take a single negative customer review or social media comment to spiral a business into a crisis . While larger household names may have the benefit of sweeping one negative comment under the rug , a high number of visible complaints can still have permanent negative effects on a brand ’ s image .
One thing I always drive home to my staff and clients alike is that your business is only as successful as its least happy customer . Actively and accurately listening to your employees and customers is essential . One way to improve this is through technology , having the right

62 % OF UK SMES SAID THAT THEIR CURRENT HIRING CHALLENGES MEAN THEY CANNOT OPERATE THEIR BUSINESS AT FULL CAPACITY .
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