SMBs are the backbone of the global economy. They make up 95 percent of the business population and around 60 percent of global employment – as per the World Trade Organization.
Yet, as big business attempts to thwart the competition, many SMBs are losing ground.
Indeed, The Boston Globe recently reported that “Small businesses are struggling to return to pre-pandemic form.” Meanwhile, The Southern Maryland Chronicle highlighted inflation as the “No. 1 concern for struggling small businesses.”
These are problems that extend far beyond the US, where the economic backdrop grows murkier by the day. Consider the UK, where three-quarters of people expect the economy to worsen in 2022-2023 – according to YouGov.
As a result, many consumers will likely rethink their buying habits, making selling trickier.
How Can SMBs Compete In Difficult Times?
Building strategies around customer data is likely the play. Statistics such as the 24 percent increase in CRM use amongst SMBs – since 2019 – suggest this.
Moreover, Forbes reports that 45 percent of small business owners expect to buy analytics software within the next year.
Why? Because SMBs have one critical advantage over big businesses: their agility. With this, they can offer higher customer flexibility and prioritize efforts to build better customer relationships.
Leveraging customer insights with an analytics engine helps SMBs to maximize these objectives.
For example, by harnessing a lost call report, SMBs can use their flexibility to reengage with callers they could not answer the first time. In doing so, SMBs can claim a second chance to make a positive first impression and secure sales they may have missed.
Also, this greater flexibility allows SMBs to latch on to new digital trends and ramp up CX transformation programmes quicker than larger enterprises.
Yet, which trends will pave the way for better customer relationships? The answer often lies within the data. Again, analytics tools can help here.
For instance, consider call logs. These often spotlight insights into where customer journeys fail. By sharing this information within the business, SMBs can quickly pivot to address emerging customer pain points.
By developing such reliable ways to listen to what customers want and acting fast, SMBs can meet evolving customer needs and maintain customer relationships.
Changing the Business Strategy
By recapturing lost calls and addressing pain points quickly, SMBs can strengthen customer loyalty.
Yet, this type of game plan likely requires a change in strategy, becoming more intelligent around customer insights instead of pouring all resources into sales.
Such a step is daunting. SMBs must create habits, connect departments, and be deliberate in their courses of action to respond quickly to variables out of their control.
If not, another economic downturn or pandemic-like event may push many SMBs to the limit.
Analytics is crucial here, breaking down siloes by integrating customer experience data across the business and enabling customer-centricity. These insights can drive collaboration and knowledge sharing that supports fast, agile CX transformation.
Forrester advocates this by putting forward the following five-point collaboration strategy:
- Build an insights engine to monitor and act on changing customer behaviours.
- Translate CX vision to daily behaviours to embed CX into everyday work on the frontline and back-office.
- Break siloes with journeys to deliver win-win outcomes for customers and the organisation.
- Take action through process improvement to drive customer-centric continuous improvement.
- Make it rain new customers by optimizing purchase and enrichment journeys.
While establishing such a strategy is tricky, it is simpler for SMBs, which can use data to become more customer-centric, secure loyalty, and “make it rain new customers.”
But to get this strategy off the ground, many SMBs – who do not have resident teams of data analysts and large-scale analytics systems – will require external expertise. Enter Akixi.
Akixi Offers an Analytics Engine to SMBs
Akixi offers an analytics engine – Akixi Insights – that digs up actionable customer insights, helping SMBs to make real-time data-driven decisions.
From the moment users from across the business login, they can isolate ways to maximize revenues, increase productivity, and improve customer experience.
With the Akixi Insights solution, businesses can quickly and easily customize and build new reports to fit their exact reporting requirements.
Moreover, Akixi boasts 20 report types and over 400 hundred metrics to choose from, so businesses can keep their insights engine as simple or advanced as they choose.
Available through a web browser and mobile app, access to the app is convenient for everyone.
To discover more about how Akixi is helping SMBs become more customer-centric and agile, visit: www.akixi.com/insights