Align Your Goals with Upcoming Business Changes
With the New Year on the horizon, you might give yourself the resolution to be a better leader, increase sales, or make your business a more appealing place to work. Whatever your goals are, it’s important to be aware of trends for small- to mid-size businesses are expected to see in 2020 so you can align your plans with the anticipated changes in the workplace.
Balance Technology with Personalized Customer Service
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are drastically changing how jobs are done worldwide, and 2020 small business trends only predict increases. Even if your business has offerings that simply can’t be automated, you need to make sure that any technology you have in place is performing at its very best. You mobile site needs to be at least as good as your desktop version, including speedy loading, intuitive and seamless UX, and easy to use e-commerce and m-commerce options.
If you aren’t selling products or enabling booking and payments online yet, you need to start. E-commerce is expected to be responsible for nearly $4 trillion in global sales next year, and if you’re not giving the option then your competition absolutely is.
That said, your in-person service needs to be top notch. Customers are not only far less loyal to brands than they used to be, but they are not shy to share their thoughts—good and bad.
Push for Reviews!
User reviews have become essential to a company’s success. People don’t trust a business without reviews and when you only have a few, a single poor review can easily tank your entire average. So encourage customers to leave detailed reviews (bonus points if they mention your services and geographic location). This can be accomplished through incentives, often through social media promotions, or simply just asking. It sounds so simple in the age of growing technology, but a genuine and thoughtful in-person or emailed request after providing great service can be a fantastic way to elicit a wealth of reviews. Let your satisfied customers be your marketing team.
Reviews, particularity when spread across a variety of platforms like Yelp!, Angie’s list, and Google, are crucial for making your business even show up in searches. Recent changes in Google’s algorithms weigh user reviews a lot more heavily when it comes to ranking, so without them, your business may not even be seen by potential customers.
Increase your Social Status
Social media is only becoming more and more important for businesses everywhere. Customers are opting for less traditional ways of communicating with companies now, so use whatever social media outlets you feel are the best match for your target market (Facebook for an older market, YouTube and Tiktok for younger clientele, and Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter for everyone in between).
Use the platforms to interact directly with customers, publicly respond to disputes, and share pictures, videos, positive reviews, or relevant links with the aim of providing some sort of service, whether informative or entertaining. The more visibility you show, the more it increases trust, particularly with younger clientele.