How Improving Customer Experience Aided Growth at Spurt!
Sometime in 2022, Spurt! interns suggested that a business community be created to support business owners and aspiring African business owners to grow their businesses. After our research, we found that apart from funding, small African businesses need a supportive community of like minds.
We spoke to some small business owners regarding their needs for a community, joined some small business communities to see how things were running, and used the insights from our findings to launch the community on telegram.
The Spurt! Community is a supportive ecosystem of nano, small, and medium-sized businesses where we post opportunities, and talk about marketing, business finance, business strategies, and talent retention and acquisition.
We listened to our customers
We chose telegram as our community channel when we launched the community. Our research led us to believe that business owners prefer either telegram or slack as a business community. This was not the case though. We shared business content regularly on this telegram, but we did not get any engagement.
We asked the community members to at least introduce themselves to us, but they did not answer. The funny thing was that they were seeing and reading our messages, but they decided to ignore us. This was a problem for us, so we asked them. Why are you not engaging with us? They told us that while they were getting value from our content, they couldn’t respond because they didn’t feel safe engaging on Telegram, and they would engage more on WhatsApp.
We did the things they wanted
We asked the community members what their expectations for the community were. They had different expectations. Some of which we already met, and some that we didn’t plan to meet at all.
With this information, we changed our strategy, shared things that they wanted to know about, and increased the number of live sessions that we held.
Currently, on the community; we post an article summary of 100 words for business owners to read on Tuesdays, we share grant and funding opportunities; on Wednesdays, we organize a finance session of 15 mins and share business financing tips, on Thursdays. We share marketing and talent retention tips on Fridays and share a 15 mins HR session.
We spontaneously share business templates, hosting live sessions twice a month and we allow business owners to market their businesses to other business owners in the community. All these things are things they requested for.
We reminded them that we loved and valued them
We do this every morning:
- We ask about the welfare of their business.
- We regularly thank them for being in the community.
- We created a form for them to access our business consulting services if they needed it and
- Whenever anyone left the community, we privately messaged them to remind them that they were truly valued in the community.
Overall, our customer experience initiatives increased the Spurt community members by 50%. We got more engagement in the community, more attendance to our events and our detraction rate reduced.