Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

Win Customers and Increase Brand Loyalty in a Disruptive World

At Modern Customer Experience, presented by Oracle, we held a live Twitter tweetchat to bring together the top thought leaders in the customer experience (CX) space. We asked for their insights on how to win customers and increase brand loyalty in a disruptive world—and we received incredible feedback.

To learn how your small- or medium-sized business (SMB) can attract and retain customers, and effectively compete with your larger counterparts, continue reading.

Where should SMBs start in the process of winning customers? What's the first thing they should focus on?

Understanding what their customers’ journey looks like and who’s involved. When you begin with empathy for your customers, they’ll see that you 1) know them and 2) care deeply. That builds trust.
— Carla Johnson (@CarlaJohnson), Keynote Speaker and Author of Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing

Focus your marketing messaging entirely on solving your prospects’ and customers’ problems, instead of focusing on the solutions your product or service provides. Many brands make the fatal mistake of falling in love with their offering, and it’s a trap. Be passionate about serving. Serve the needs of others.
— Tamara McCleary (@TamaraMcCleary), Founder and CEO of Thulium

It starts with understanding your customers. Who are they? What do they want? Need? It used to be easier. Demo groups tended to act the same. Today, that’s changed. So you need to dig deep individually.
— Rieva Lesonsky (@Rieva), Founder and Contributing Writer of SmallBizDaily.com

You can find your clients as an SMB by being human and reaching out to them personally. Ask questions, get involved in their world. As an SMB, it’s important that you work hard to build relationships at first. When first starting out, watch out for Founders Death. Sometimes, the founders have too much invested and it clouds their judgement to take smarter risks.
— Bryan Kramer (@BryanKramer), Keynote Speaker and Best-Selling Author of There is No B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human #H2H.

Having a customer-first mindset in everything you do as a business simplifies and keeps your efforts focused. “We think of the user in everything we do,” says Google. It works!
— Zen Yinger (@ZenYinger), CEO of ZenSocial

What’s their journey? In this age, we say we have to be storytellers, but we need to listen to the story of the customer.
— Del Williams (@DelWilliams)

How can SMBs win customers if they have smaller budgets and fewer resources than their larger competitors?

Big budgets don’t win customers, big hearts do. Be human, make your brand approachable and relatable. Be real.
— Tamara McCleary (@TamaraMcCleary), Founder and CEO of Thulium

Smaller budgets give SMBs the opportunity to be more creative. Creativity is what makes a company stand out.
— Carla Johnson (@CarlaJohnson), Keynote Speaker and Author of Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing

Personalization. You have the chance to really know your customer, to understand them, to establish a one-on-one relationship. Back in the day, my dad had a retail store in a neighborhood. He knew the customers and he took care of them. Approach customers as a person, not a business.
— Rieva Lesonsky (@Rieva), Founder and Contributing Writer of SmallBizDaily.com

Many businesses forget it costs more to get a new customer, plus you have to know your customer lifetime value. If you are a dentist and give away a toothbrush, your consumer will know [who] they need to call when the brush is done.
— Shashi Bellamkonda (@ShashiB), CMO of Surefire Local

It’s your heart, not your wallet, that shows you care. Show your customers you genuinely care and go above and beyond when they least expect it. You’ll keep that relationship for life, long after they stop being your client.
— Zen Yinger (@ZenYinger), CEO of ZenSocial

When brands project genuine humanity, people are drawn to them no matter their budget. I think that rests with commitment and a consistent brand voice.
— Kathleen Hessert (@KathleenHessert), Founder and CEO of Sports Media Challenge

Just reaching out and thanking the customer is huge. I love it when a brand sees my check-in or comment and just sends me a gratitweet.
— Melissa Stewart (@MelissaOnline), Founder of She Owns It

For a complete recap of the tweetchat, Win Customers and Increase Brand Loyalty in a Disruptive World, check out our post on Storify.

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