Small businesses are a vital part of the economy and are a major contributor of new employment opportunities—from 2007 to 2017, small businesses accounted for 65.9% of net new jobs, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. For these reasons and many more, 8x8 is delighted to celebrate Small Business Week 2019.

To mark the occasion, we commissioned a survey to learn more about consumers’ relationship with small businesses. The survey also looked at how customer experience compares at small businesses versus large organizations. The survey, conducted through Dynata, polled 1,000 U.S.-based consumers.

The results show that small businesses are more likely to deliver positive customer experiences than larger companies. Seventy-one percent of consumers said they have a better experience engaging with a small business than a large organization, and 80% rate their experiences with small businesses overall as “good” or “very good.”

Consumers place a high value on customer service, with 86% stating they are willing to pay more for better experiences. Small businesses that prioritize customer experience see other benefits as well: 57% of consumers are more likely to leave a favorable review for a small business after a positive experience, compared to a larger brand.

Interestingly, while 82% of consumers view a personalized experience as important, and the majority rate small businesses as more likely to deliver a personalized experience, nearly 60% don’t expect small businesses to know their purchase history.

The survey shows that customer experience is an important differentiator and a critical driver for small businesses. The survey also shows there’s an opportunity for small businesses to create more personalized experiences that lead to stronger customer relationships.

Personalization Is Key

Small businesses have historically excelled at creating and nurturing individual customer relationships. However, in a market that values personalization, small businesses that don’t tailor every interaction risk losing customers to companies that do.

Communications is one area where small businesses can make an immediate, positive impact on customer experience. In order to do this, small businesses need to have the right communications tools in place. At 8x8, we’ve created a state-of-the-art cloud communications platform that helps businesses of all sizes deliver better, more personalized customer care.

It starts from the moment a customer calls. Caller ID shows the customer’s name on the screen, letting the employee know who’s on the other line before he or she picks up the phone. If the business has a customer relationship management (CRM) system and 8x8 service, then pertinent information—such as the customer’s call and purchase history—will pop up on the employee’s screen when he or she answers. 8x8’s out-of-the-box integration with leading CRM systems makes it easy for small businesses to combine communications with CRM.

8x8 also seamlessly integrates with G Suite. If the employee and customer have previously exchanged emails, Gmail will automatically filter email exchanges between the employee and customer, removing all non-relevant emails and providing time-saving context.

But delivering personalized service doesn’t just mean having relevant customer information on hand during a call. It also means being able to answer a customer’s question, as quickly as possible, even if the employee doesn’t know the answer. With 8x8, subject matter experts within a business are never more than a click away. Employees can look up experts by name, or search for chat rooms dedicated to particular topics or departments, and see which employee is available. The employee can stay on the line with the customer while he or she tracks down information. Customers don’t get bounced around between employees—a source of endless frustration—and businesses see higher first call resolution and increased customer satisfaction.

These are just some of the ways 8x8 cloud communications helps small businesses provide better customer experience and build stronger relationships through greater personalization.

Walk The Walk With 8x8

Check out the 8x8 X Series page to see how one cloud solution for voice, video, chat and contact center helps small businesses deliver personalized customer experience.