With corporate mergers becoming more commonplace, it may seem like your small or medium-sized business (SMB) is being brushed to the side. What the trend is actually doing, though, is creating an opportunity for your SMB to stand out. Just keep thinking, better relationships!
Believe it or not, not every customer wants to do business with a corporate behemoth! There’s a reason, after all, that 30 million small businesses still exist today, and small businesses encompass 99.9 percent of all businesses in the U.S.
Here are 5 ways your SMB can exploit its advantages to conquer your corporate rivals.
Deliver Unforgettable Customer Service: SMBs offer something that’s long been the Achilles heel for giant corporations — exceptional customer service. Whether it’s greeting customers at the door, handling matters with urgency, remembering details about previous transactions or making contextual suggestions based on those transactions, SMBs are better positioned to deliver a more fulfilling customer experience.
Establish Personal Relationships: A function of great customer service, personal relationships are the keystone of small businesses. Customers trust and feel more loyalty toward businesses that know them by name and can anticipate their needs. It’s a personal relationship that corporations can’t emulate, not even through artificial intelligence and machine learning. As a SMB, this connection is your number one advantage and something you need to harness to maximize success.
Embrace Change: What your business lacks in size it can make up for in agility. The freedom to adapt to trends, manipulate your product line, invest in new technologies and adjust policies on the fly gives you a big advantage over your corporate rivals, who are often bound by paralyzing bureaucracy. Outrace your competitors by embracing change and moving quickly when an opportunity to grow your business presents itself.
Streamline Your Service: Few things are more frustrating for customers than waiting on hold or playing “call center pinball” when you have an urgent matter to resolve. And yet, that’s what you run into with many corporations. As Jim and Dwight masterfully demonstrate here, your SMB can turn their weakness into your strength by offering a direct way for customers to get in touch with you.
Implement Customer Advice: Who better to ask for advice on how to improve your business than the people who keep you in business? As a SMB, you’re better equipped to not only seek input from your customers but to actually implement it. You’ll make your customers feel important by giving them a voice and strengthen their loyalty by actually incorporating their suggestions. That’s something big corporations can’t do, at least not with any degree of quickness or urgency.
By Alex Altman