Are you a small business and currently exploring customer experience technology? We recently conducted a study of both small and large companies that identified customer satisfaction as a top business priority across all industries. Here’s what Metrigy’s 2022 State of Customer Experience Technology report revealed about customer satisfaction and its link to success for small businesses (SMBs) with less than 400 employees.
👀 Stay in the loop on customer experience trends by accessing Metrigy’s 2022 State of Customer Experience Technology report.
Businesses are prioritizing the customer experience
Let’s get real. Small businesses and enterprises operate very differently, with different budgets, team sizes, and operational structures. But customer experience technology levels the playing field and becomes a common factor for businesses of all sizes. How so? Customer experience technology has a direct impact on customer satisfaction—and every business cares about customer satisfaction.
That’s why, according to Metrigy’s 2022 State of Customer Experience Technology report, 29.2% of respondents identified customer satisfaction as their top business priority and three-quarters of companies placed customer satisfaction in their top three. Customer satisfaction even ranks above employee retention, revenue, security, and product/service quality.
And here’s a real eye-opener: Successful businesses are investing 92.2% more in customer experience technologies than non-successful companies.
Let’s read that one more time: Successful businesses are investing 92.2% more in customer experience technologies than non-successful companies. You can no longer put off investing in customer experience technologies. There’s a real lesson here!
Customer satisfaction vs. agent productivity
How do businesses compare agent productivity and customer satisfaction? When asked which approach is most important, research participants overwhelmingly selected improving customer satisfaction over agent productivity (85.3%) rather than improving agent productivity over customer satisfaction (14.7%).
Small businesses are slightly more likely to favor customer satisfaction (85.7%) compared to their larger counterparts with 400 or more employees (84.9%). If you’re a small business, this research further proves why it’s critical to leverage customer experience technology to stay ahead of the curve and strengthen your reputation with customers.
Benefits of customer experience technology
Whenever your business is deploying new applications, platforms, or services—or when you switch providers—it’s important to measure before-and-after success.
According to Metrigy’s research, businesses that added a contact center platform or changed to a different provider showed the following success:
- 18% improvement in revenue
- 10.7% reduction in operational costs
- 16.8% improvement in customer ratings
- 17.6% boost in agent productivity
Implementing a contact center platform is one of the most effective ways you can quantify your customer satisfaction success. Not only do you give your customers an efficient and flexible way to contact your business, but you also get detailed analytics and feedback that can help you improve the customer experience.
The benefits don’t stop there. By switching to a cloud-based contact center platform, you’ll also save money because you won’t have to worry about managing an on-premises infrastructure. For example, a hybrid contact center as a service costs $1,356 per agent per year. In contrast, an on-premises contact center costs $2,104 per agent per year.
Omnichannel is key
A digital-first strategy gives your customers a variety of ways to contact you via digital channels like email and live chat. This is key for small businesses. In fact, 26.4% of small businesses already have a digital-first strategy in place and 38.8% are either evaluating or planning on making digital-first a strategy for 2023 or beyond.
In our research, 63% of respondents ranked phone calls as either their first or second channel preference for customer support. It’s clear that digital channels are gaining in popularity as well, with 39% preferring online chat or instant messaging, 33% preferring email, 17% preferring online FAQs, and 12% preferring videos on YouTube or Twitter.
The key to success with a digital-first strategy is to provide an omnichannel experience. This means that customers should have the ability to contact your business on their preferred channel of choice, whether it’s through phone calls, SMS, messaging, video calls, social media, live chat, email, and more.
Omnichannel experiences are important for two reasons: first, because it’s what customers expect, and second, because it leads to better business results. In fact, businesses that provide an omnichannel experience see a 15 to 20% increase in customer satisfaction.
Here’s an interesting fact: Omnichannel adoption rose in 2021 to 34%, and in 2022 adoption is projected to be 49%. Leaders must prioritize omnichannel adoption. Interestingly enough, small businesses are 25% less likely to use omnichannel, so it’s even more crucial for them to prioritize adoption.
Analytics is front and center
As digital-first strategies grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to measure customer satisfaction. This is where analytics comes in. Analytics can help you understand what’s working and what’s not by providing insights into agent productivity and customer behavior.
- 32.5% use agent analytics to evaluate and improve performance
- 29.5% use predictive analytics to anticipate customer needs or behaviors
- 30.4% correlate results from customer feedback surveys with employee performance
Let’s not forget: It’s not enough to just track the data—you have to act on it. Only 26.2% of companies actually do this. Businesses must take advantage of analytics to not only measure their customer experience strategy, but also assess in real time when to course correct.
Shockingly, only 37.2% of small businesses have adopted an analytics platform. This leaves a huge opportunity for small businesses to stay ahead of the curve with reporting and analytics to improve their customer experience.
Start pairing advanced analytics with your contact center platform to increase your revenue, improve customer service, and drive agent productivity.
The future of customer experience technology
As you evaluate your business strategy, consider investing more into customer experience technology. The right customer experience technology can be your differentiating factor in winning over customers.
As we move forward, we expect to see more small businesses embrace digital-first strategies, adopt cloud-based solutions, and use analytics to drive decision-making.
We also expect customer expectations to continue to rise. To meet these expectations, small businesses will need to invest in customer experience technology that can help them deliver the best possible customer experience.
Let RingCentral help you take your customer experience to the next level.
Thank you for your interest in RingCentral.
Originally published Jun 16, 2022, updated Mar 29, 2023