Small businesses have always had a competitive advantage over large corporations: they understand their customers better. Large enterprises spend millions annually to get into the clients’ heads – small business owners understand their clients’ behaviour because they’re one of them. This makes customer experience not only a tool to gain and retain more clients but a small business’ more valuable asset.

Delivering a great customer experience is of the essence when it comes to running a successful business. 96% of customers decide whether to buy from a brand again, based on their previous interactions with the company, and 83% of them are happy to “reward” an excellent customer experience with a referral. In fact, word-of-mouth-marketing is how small businesses gain new clients – over 84% of buyers would ask their friends or family for advice before making a purchase. The excellent customer experience is thus, essential, for any SME as it helps business owners both acquire and retain customers.

If you’re running a brick and mortar business, customer experience may mean anything from convenience of hours, the cleanliness of your facilities, and the attitude of your employees. For digital enterprises, you can improve your customer experience by ensuring your website is easy to access and navigate and simplifying your return and ordering processes.

Excellent customer experience doesn’t only give small business owners a competitive edge over the larger corporations. According to over 54% of US customers, most companies still struggle to improve their customer experience, which means that those who get it right have access to a fantastic opportunity to reach new clients.

The importance of customer experience holds true for any type of small business. Take law or accounting for example – only 4% of customers in these sectors prioritise cost over customer service, and 95% believe that ‘service delivery’ is the most critical part of the service. Accountants and small legal business owners can thus greatly benefit from delivering outstanding customer service.

The reason why customer experience is such a vital part of your business’ success is that it builds trust. For accountants, for instance, and businesses providing repetitive service, trust and credibility are built through day-to-day service. The data shows that customers are willing to spend around 16% more on products and services with companies they perceive as delivering better customer service. This doesn’t only mean that great customer experience brings business owners more revenues, but also enhances your brand’s reputation and helps you reach more new customers through effective word-of-mouth marketing.

Of course, to deliver an outstanding customer experience, you need to have an insight into your clients’ needs and wants. Don’t try to improve your customer experience by guessing: tap into your clients’ pain points and listen to take advantage of the small business’ most significant tool.