Plenty of owners may be turning to small business working capital loans this holiday season to expand inventory, hire staff and otherwise prepare for the shopping rush. However, making customer service a priority remains essential to business success.
The question is: What are shoppers expecting this holiday season?
According to a new global study from SDL, 90 percent of consumers said they expect their customer service experience to be consistent across all channels. This seems to be a growing trend, as 17 percent more consumers cited this when compared to last year.
To meet these expectations, small business owners must do their best to make sure that in-store experiences match those found online.
Forty-seven percent of holiday shoppers said they have been frustrated to visit a physical business only to find that things are different from how they were advertised online. Among the reasons why shoppers said they stay loyal to their favorite brands was consistent, predicable service.
“Consumers today engage with organizations through multiple touchpoints,” Mark Lancaster, CEO and founder of SDL, said in a recent press release. “This holiday season, more than ever, brands need to be prepared to cater to shoppers wherever they are as they research and purchase products – in store, online or on their mobile devices. A consistent, superior experience across all interaction channels has become something that customers not only expect, but they demand it; and the brands that can best meet this demand will build customer relationships that continue long after the holiday season.”
However, small business owners with limited resources may want to take note of how shoppers conduct research. Even businesses with little or no online presence can benefit form an increased focus on in-store service, as the majority (63 percent) of consumers research products at a physical business location.
Putting working capital to use as a way to improve service both in-store and online could pay dividends this holiday season, so business owners should explore their options.