What is the success of a business? Is it being the market leader or is it increasing the bottom line? Irrespective of the definition of success, the size of a business doesn’t say much about its level of success. But the question is are small companies better?
Many small businesses are more successful than big ones. There have been instances when small businesses have started losing money and becoming unsuccessful after they have grown bigger.
While there are various factors such as lower costs, shorter hierarchies, flexibility, niche markets, etc. contributing to the success of a small business, customer-centricity and customer service are at the heart of it.
What Makes Small Companies Better?
1. Attention to Customers is primary to the smaller businesses
I have been taught in a class of 30 and a hall full of 500. The difference in personalized attention is stark. The same is with the attention businesses provide customers.
Without debate, we all want to be treated with respect and care. We reciprocate these feelings. Well, a small business delivers this attention to its customer base due to its small size.
2. Small companies better at treating customers personally
A small customer base ensures personal relations with every client. An add-on is a personalized service to every customer. It’s like getting the tailor-made clothes that fit you perfectly, but better.
Big businesses can’t afford to do that. When a customer calls them for service, he gets to hear a pre-recorded telephone asking him to press numbers to proceed. If by chance, one gets to speak to a human, the conversation is a standard, one-size-fits-all remedy. The personal touch is lost.
4. Small Customers Base can make small companies better
A small customer base also allows reaching out to this base more often. Businesses keep it engaging to show that they care about it, rather than simply getting a computer to generate a “Happy Birthday” message once a year. Small businesses even know their customers by name and face, bringing in another layer of personal touch.
The personalization can sometimes go to the extent of the company CEO meeting and greeting the customers! Thus, a small base makes small companies better at getting personal with the customers and the employees.
5. Timely Response is given by smaller companies
Successful small businesses have also been able to build trust in their small pool of loyal customers, a consumer relation every business strives for.
How many times has it happened that we have waited days to hear back about our complaint or a follow-up on our request from a business? I have faced it to the extent that it deters me from raising such issues again. A small business, however, responds in time.
A big reason for this is the need for customer retention. As marketing is expensive for small businesses, they must hold on to their small pool of customers. For this, they put in more effort than big business does.
6. Dealing with Feedback is quick in smaller companies
Social media is the modern-day complaint box. More than positive feedback, negative feedback gets viral every day. No business can escape it. The differentiating factor between the big and small companies is the speed with which they deal with negative feedback.
Big businesses may have a dedicated team for this, but due to the sheer size of their customer base, many are left unattended. Small businesses have an advantage here.
7. Communication is effective in smaller businesses
A big business, due to its tall hierarchy and bureaucratic complexities is too slow to react to customer demands. The communication from the bottom to the top and from one vertical to another is often slow, delaying the response. Small business wins here due to its timely action.
One of the prime ingredients of a company’s culture is the policy of “the customer is the king”. This is followed rigorously at the early growth stages of the company as increasing the customer base is the focus area.
However, as the company grows bigger, this ingredient loses its essence with the addition of other components such as revenue generation, profit maximization, mergers, and acquisitions, etc.
Thus, it is customer satisfaction that makes small companies better.
The final crucial aspect is motivation levels in employees in a small business. As they can see the outputs of their performance and get a regular pat on the back by the CEO himself, they are content. And as they say, happy employees lead to happy customers.
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