Why SMEs should embrace customer journey.

Whether they subscribe only to the rhetoric or actually pick up and apply the concepts, large organisations can usually recognise the relevance of customer journey to their activity. Scale and presence bring the need to explore new ways to gain competitive advantage and to reassure shareholders that the business is engaged in continuous improvement. For those with the budget and a real commitment to their customers, current thinking on the benefits of reducing customer effort resonates and is beginning to impact sales conversion and customer advocacy.

Conversely, smaller organisations often cannot imagine how the concepts apply to them or feel that the investment might be better placed elsewhere. This may be a false economy. Small businesses are renowned for their innovation and customer focus but don’t always recognise the need to develop and deliver a customer strategy as a growth-enabler. Some fear interference or a possible dilution of what makes their enterprise special; the reality is that customer journey will help to focus skills and energy to positive effect, protecting what is already in place.

Over recent years, research has emerged that shows service as being the main differentiator in competitive markets. Whatever the size of a business, success depends in part on having a service strategy and a plan about how you want to treat your customers. This isn’t just about efficiency; it’s about making sure that they experience the best you can provide whether they deal with you on-line, in person or via the telephone or mail. And as customers are pretty much the only people likely to experience the outputs of your entire enterprise, quality has to be delivered by all functions. Alignment of touch-points and functions is a business imperative, as is the need for a touchstone for new employees as you grow.

Developing a service strategy need not be complex or expensive however it will require a reasonably structured approach and some creative, collaborative thinking. If you are interested in an exploratory conversation, please call Stephen Grey or Martin Wright on 0845 8382 159.