At Simply Business, we’re passionate about our customers - small business owners. We take a lot of pride in helping those who are fueling the British economy. As an insurance provider, we of course do that by ensuring we are there for them when their business suffers a setback, offering comprehensive business insurance and an award-winning claims team.
But this isn’t enough for us. We want to help more and build more meaningful, ongoing relationships with our customers. We don’t just want to be the people they turn to when they’re in trouble - we want to be there in the good times, too, providing ongoing support to keep those good times good.
So how do we do that? Well, to start with, we have a regular, ongoing dialogue with our customers. We speak to them to gather their feedback and understand their business needs all the time - online, over the phone, and during our annual road trips, where we travel the UK visiting small business owners.
Our customers are either sole traders or businesses that employ only a handful of people. And the feedback is always clear: it’s tough, doing it alone. You often feel as though you have to wear the hat of every department in the company, from marketing to finance, on top of the day to day running of your business. So that’s how we help. We gather that expertise into once place to try to make life as simple as possible for our customers.
The Simply Business Knowledge Centre is just that - a collection of articles covering topics from recent tax changes, to marketing tips for small businesses, to firsthand accounts from small business owners themselves. We keep track of what content performs well, so we can produce similar pieces and refresh old ones if the information goes out of date. On top of that, we carry out surveys and ask for feedback, so we know when customers want to see more of something or less of something else, or if they want us to cover a topic that we hadn’t even considered.
Some of our most successful content is centred around legal documentation, which we secured through a partnership with a leading law firm. We offer a range of legal templates, from assured shorthold tenancy agreements for landlords to a sample articles and memorandum of association for small businesses looking to incorporate.
But legal documents can be hard to decypher on their own, so all our templates are embedded in an article that explains how, why, and when to use it. We even had a customer reach out to ask if our tenancy agreement template was valid in Scotland. It wasn’t, as Scotland has a slightly different legal landscape, but we were able to get the customer the correct template, send it his way, and make it available in our Knowledge Centre for other Scottish landlords who might want to use it.
We try to keep our customers up to date with anything that might affect them. Sometimes this is new pieces of law, which we cover clearly and simply, making sure the impact on a small business owner is spelled out and not tied up in legal jargon. Sometimes it's more immediate, personal, and related to their insurance. If there’s a flood warning in a certain area, for example, we’re able to locate our customers in that area and email them information on how to prepare for a flood, as well as a quick reminder of what they need to do claims-wise should the worst come to the worst and their premises or property is flooded.
But with so many types of small businesses out there, there are times when we’re not the experts in topics we want to cover. To us, that’s another opportunity to get our customers involved. We insure a broad range of customers, with a broad range of skills, who will sometimes share their advice and experience in posts on our Knowledge Centre.
Some want to write their own articles, while some just want to give us the information and let us write it out. We always make sure to link back to our customers’ websites and promote the articles on social media - that way, not only are other customers benefiting from the knowledge, but the one who shared also gets a nice boost to their marketing efforts.
One of the most interesting things we’ve discovered is the commercial benefit of the content we produce. Not only is it securing many valuable links, we regularly share content with our customers via email, both in tailored newsletters and on an ad hoc basis, and whilst the average open rate in the industry is 20%, ours is well over 30%. Our data has shown that customers who consume our content are more loyal. In fact, those who have engaged with multiple pieces of content are the most loyal of all.
And if you’re not convinced, don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what three customers fed back to us last month:
We’re always looking to innovate and find better ways to engage with our customers, as well as identify any areas where we could do more. We’re proud of what we’re doing and what we’ve achieved so far, but going above and beyond for our customers is what makes our business tick - and work like that is never done.
Find out what's on the minds of small business leaders across the UK and Europe in this Salesforce white paper: Understanding the Small and Medium Business Landscape in the UK