How To Maintain That Small-Business Touch In Times Of Growth

Shelly Dutton

When it comes to customer experiences, no business has a greater advantage than small and midsize firms. They can change plans and tactics much faster to address customer needs, market dynamics, and opportunities. There’s a distinct energy that empowers employees to work together and deliver on customer expectations despite tight timelines, restricted budgets, and limited resources. And most of all, customer relationships tend to resemble that of personal connections.

Yet, in a seemingly cruel twist, the distance between the customer and the business grows as the firm expands. Sure, large companies such as Zappos and Starbucks still provide superior service to tens of millions of customers every year. But overall, the larger the customer base, the less personal the service.

But it doesn’t have to be this way – not in 2017. In the e-book “Ecosystem in Action: SME Customer Success Stories,” recently released by SAP, there are many stories of small and midsize businesses that have held on those close relationships as they grew in revenue and expanded into new regions. Here are three of those 90 success stories.

Pregis: Responding to changing customer needs with greater insight

Pregis Corporation, an innovative packaging solution provider, has transformed over the past decade. However, that continuous wave of change was threatened by legacy systems that were holding back the company. To continue its aggressive growth strategy, the innovative package solution provider knew that it has to proactively address customers’ evolving needs across a range of industries in a more-personalized manner. This initiative required integrated sales processes, unhindered knowledge sharing and real-time insight, tighter order fulfillment flow, and optimized customer interactions.

Within 16 weeks, the company implemented in an integrated combination of cloud-based sales solution with mobile capabilities and an in-memory computing platform. Pregis’ sales team can now access customer information without IT support, provide real-time price quotes, and initiate workflows from smartphones and tablets. With 24×7 access to a 360-degree view of their customers, sales reps can find new opportunities to provide more solutions that meet the need of the moment.

Saatvik Green Energy: Improving sales and service in the cloud

As the world moves to cleaner energy sources, Saatvik Green Energy Pvt. Ltd. is helping to lead the way with high-quality, high-efficiency solar photovoltaic modules. With a strong network of over 125 dealers and distributors and serving over 200 customers across India, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, the solar panels and solar products manufacturer has realized 300% year-over-year revenue growth.

By turning to a cloud-based, mobile-enabling customer solution, the business is delivering cost-effective, utility-scale solar energy solutions to its customers – even as it continues to grow. The solution is not only increasing visibility into the sales process across its dealer and distributor network, but also synchronizing sales forecasting with the production cycle. And for the Saatvik, these capabilities are paving a path to becoming the next digital company in the high-tech world of green energy.

StepStone: Accelerating customer response time

Serving 12.1 million recruiters and job seekers, StepStone delivers strong and fast connections and high-quality data to process thousands of transactions each day. However, this level of always-on service lead to high IT-related costs – unless to right technology is supporting the experience.

StepStone implemented a software-as-a-service (SaaS) enterprise resource planning and business management solution to achieve consistent data integrity and reduce administrative overhead costs. But more transformational, the online job board for qualified functional and executive specialists in Germany improved connections between all lines of business – from approaching customers to finalizing and setting up services online. Furthermore, rapid and integrated analytics and business reporting are playing a key role in advancing the company’s digital strategy.

Maintain that small-business touch in your customers’ experience – even when you grow in 2017 and beyond. Learn from the stories of 90 small and midsize firms that are embracing their own digital transformation.