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Enhancing customer experience with innovating software

Say hello to the business tools helping SMEs stay in touch with customers 24/7

Three SMEs delivering brilliant customer experiences with innovative software

In the last ten years, customers’ priorities have evolved beyond simply getting great value. Eighty-four per cent say that being treated like a person, rather than a number, is very important to winning their business.

And businesses – big or small – need to adapt fast if they want to stay relevant. Fifty-seven per cent of customers have stopped shopping with a company because a competitor gave them a better experience

Making things more personal can make all the difference. It might be helping them stay in touch, even out of business hours. Or making it easier to order at any time of day on a well-designed app.

Be there for customers when it suits them

Understanding your customers’ needs – and exceeding their expectations – is key to building brand loyalty. And technological innovation can help.

But where do you start considering the right tech for your business? Knowing your aims and budget is a great starting position. Then look for something that suits.

Here are three SMEs revealing the innovative software they’ve used to create brilliant customer experiences. The solutions range from a simple addition to their customer relationship management system, to one that went all-in with a tech-based business model.

Tech tips for reaching customers from trailblazing digital SMEs

Trim.It – the mobile barbershop delivering haircuts to Londoners’ doors

This barbershop has gone mobile. Literally. You book an appointment through the Trim.It app, then they dispatch your preferred barber in a fully-fitted van to meet you. Whether that’s at your office or on your doorstep, over lunch or in the evening.

“People can book whenever they want to,” explains Peter Lloyd, Trim.It’s co-founder and CTO. “A lot of people actually book quite late at night. When they come home late from work, they’re not going to want to ring to book an appointment.”

The app lets customers get a trim when it suits them. “They don’t have to think about it, and a van turns up,” says Peter. “It gives them a better experience.”

Each barber also has a profile in the Trim.It app. Customers can read about their interests and see examples of their previous cuts. It’s all about building a relationship. “We’re hiring barbers that have real personality,” says Peter. “They can actually relate to the customers. That also helps a lot.”

Bloom & Wild – the digital-only florist that’s always available

Though it sells bouquets, Bloom & Wild describes itself as a tech company. “Everything is underpinned by tech,” says Isobel Mills, the company’s customer delight manager. This includes some innovative custom ecommerce solutions.

The budding business doesn’t have a physical store, so takes orders through an app, online or over the phone. “We make ourselves very available for anybody,” Isobel explains. “We have coverage until late in the evenings, because we want to be accessible for anybody at any time.”

By pairing a simple online ordering system with a customer relationship management system – or CRM – Bloom & Wild’s team is there, however shoppers need them. If a customer calls with an order or query, the system directs them to the right person at the right time. And with plans to use WhatsApp Business, they’re making it even easier for customers to reach them.

Burro e Salvia – the restaurant that understands how to use social media for business

Famous for its fresh pasta, Burro e Salvia used to spend too long on the phone with customers, booking reservations and answering questions. It was pulling staff away from serving diners.

The restaurant’s simple solution shows how tech can improve customer experience for any local business, anywhere in the UK.

It adopted Resy, a reservation system that lets customers book a table on their smartphone or online – without losing that personal touch.

“Resy has a feature that helps you communicate with the customer,” explains Gaia Enria, owner of Burro e Salvia. “It’s sort of like texting each other. So if there are any details the customer wants to inform us of, or if we need to speak to them, we can.”

The system also works with social media like Instagram so anyone can book from the restaurant’s profile page. “Now that everything goes through Resy, it helps us control our bookings and the space we have for potential walk-ins a bit more,” says Gaia.

Easier communication and better table management proved a recipe for customer loyalty. Something Resy rewards. “If customers keep coming back, they become regulars and the system recognises them,” Gaia explains. “We can give them a different treatment, because we know their preferences. It creates a personal service.”

Stay open with the right tech

Three businesses. Three challenges. Each with carefully-chosen tech solutions that help the businesses stay open and give customers a great, personalised experience through marketing and ecommerce. Finding the right system and understanding how to use social media for business was key in these success stories, and making it work for both the business and its customers was essential. With the right tech behind you, you could do the same.

Where next?

In our podcast, In good company, we chat to experts and business owners who share their experience and advice on the innovative tech solutions that help their business stay open.

 And have a look at the products and support services we offer to help your business stay open.