Without question, small businesses are the backbone of the US economy. If you do a little statistical digging, you will find just how robust we are!
“As of the 2010 Census, there were 27.9 million small businesses registered in the United States, compared to just 18,500 companies of 500 employees or more… Included in that total figure are sole proprietorships (73.2 percent)…” Jared Hecht, inc.com
Sole proprietorships- 73.2%? Hello! That’s us!
And do you know what I love? Mom and pop businesses commonly put their people first and understand the value of relationships. Companies that invest in the human element are securing a strong foundation of customer loyalty.
Consumers are human beings first. We all will choose to go “where everybody knows our name” before turning to an automated service where we are just another number. (Millennials, that was a reference to the tv show, Cheers!)
But, think about those 18,500 companies of 500 employees or more… do you feel they know their customers names? Do you feel they care?
Don’t even get me started on AI! The next industrial revolution is already here. No, McDonald’s, not today! I refuse to self check out! I do not work there. Give our teenagers their jobs back! All joking aside, I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.
From my experience, small businesses do relationship-building best. Sadly, it is also one of the first elements to be eliminated when startups experience growth and seek to automate the client experience. Apparently, the customer experience is being called “CX” now. There’s a growing body of research out there about CX. (See my Google screenshot below.)
“In commerce, customer experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship.” Wikipedia
Luckily, small businesses already have their finger on the pulse of this experience.
Investing in the human element is my “why” for SLN Consulting. I seek to weave “people first” in my own business and the work I will do with you on your Online Branding and Digital Marketing strategies. When trust and rapport have been built into your customer experience, your clients will be a lot less likely to jump ship to the next cost-saving competitor or disruptor to enter your industry.
My prediction in the face of the Artificial Intelligence takeover? It will be the firms that invest in human relationships that thrive in the future.
Let’s harness our humanity together! I look forward to this journey with you!