5 Small Businesses That Get Customer Experience Right

Emulate the moves these businesses make to knock your customer experience out of the park.

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By Sujan Patel

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Do you ever get annoyed when a website won't load, the line at the store is too long or you have to wait on hold on the phone?

I don't know about you, but I don't like to wait. In today's world of instant gratification, I think it's safe to say that most people don't like waiting. They want things when they want them; and with new technology, most of the things people want are basically always at their fingertips.

Related: The Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Experience

Consumers today have higher expectations than ever, and the businesses that can provide them with the most seamless and positive experiences will be the most successful. According to a study by Walker, customer experience is predicted to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020.

Still, if you're running a small business, making customer experience a priority can be a challenge. You may have fewer people or less money, which means you have to wear multiple hats to ensure all areas of your business are running smoothly. Yet it is possible for small businesses to offer a stellar customer experience. Just take a look at these five small businesses for inspiration:

1. HeyTaco!

HeyTaco! is an app that teams can use in conjunction with Slack to reward and recognize their fellow employees. Each user can give out up to five digital "tacos" per day, and users rack up these tacos to redeem for prizes.

When HeyTaco! first launched, founder Doug Dosberg said his goal was to build a customer-centric company. That approach focused on putting the customer first and building long-lasting relationships.

HeyTaco! focuses on being fully transparent with its customers. One way to achieve that is by contacting customers often to keep the lines of communication open. In a blog post for startups.co, Dosberg explained, "Relationships don't happen overnight, and that's why we check in often with our customers."

2. American Giant

American Giant is a clothing company best known for its line of sweatshirts, which the company deems "The Greatest Hoodie Ever." American Giant's customer experience starts with the product. Those sweatshirts may look like other ones on the market, but in reality, the company puts a much bigger focus on quality. Its sweatshirts are made with durable fabrics and top-notch materials and are solidly constructed.

As CEO Bayard Winthrop told Business News Daily, "We've put our customers first by building a high-quality, amazing product, and as a result, have created an organic and unfaltering loyalty to the brand."

3. Captricity

Captricity is a cloud-based service that extracts and enhances information on paper and converts it to digital data. Most users encounter issues with software from time to time, so Captricity makes customer service a priority.

Because it is a small business with a small team, keeping up with the volume of work is Capricity's challenge. To combat this, the company uses Service Cloud Lightning, a technology that makes customer service easier and smoother. "It's a 360-degree solution -- a one-stop shop where I can get info about all the customers," Madhavi Katikaneni, head of customer success at Captricity, told Salesforce.

Related: 8 Ways Customer Service Affects Your Business's Bottom Line

"We can track when the customer has written in before, what they are dealing with, if there's a contact at the company, etc. It's really great to get a full view of the customer throughout the customer lifecycle."

4. Wistia

Wistia is a video hosting and analytics platform that builds video software for businesses. Because it knows video so well, Wistia also uses video to provide great customer service. It creates personalized how-to videos and thank-you notes for customers to help them and demonstrate how to use its software.

In a blog post, Harper, a Customer Happiness team member at Wistia, wrote, "When it comes to communicating technical concepts or processes, videos are the best."

Video is where Wistia shines, and it allows this medium to show, rather than tell, how to solve an issue. Its communication is clear and personal, and customers respond to it. In addition, using video gives Wistia another chance to demonstrate its video expertise.

5. Firmoo

Firmoo is an online optical store, offering prescription eyeglasses. While this company is the underdog in a competitive market, it has set itself apart by focusing on providing great customer service.

Firmoo's customer service team members are responsive, and they've built a loyal following on social platforms, such as Facebook. Firmoo provides sales updates on its Facebook page and handles customer service through the Facebook messaging app. This makes the customer experience easy since customers are able to ask questions and receive answers to those questions within a platform that they frequently use anyway.

Related: 10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric

Judging from the rave reviews Firmoo has attracted, all visible on its Facebook page, the company has built up social proof that validates its strong customer service.

How do you make customer experience a priority in your business? Let me know in the comments below:

Sujan Patel

Entrepreneur and Marketer, Co-founder of Web Profits

In his 14-plus years as a marketer and entrepreneur, Sujan Patel has helped hundreds of companies boost online traffic and sales and strengthen their online brand reputation. Patel is the co-founder of Web Profits and Mailshake.

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