Customers are the backbone of any business and every small business owner should strive to please them by providing the best customer experience possible. Depending on which study you read and what industry you are in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.
Customer retention and loyalty are critically important for any small business. A customer who is unhappy can take their wrath to social media or other online platforms, which can quickly bring negative impacts to your business. Creating an excellent experience for your customers will help in nurturing new and existing relationships and provide opportunities for your business to grow.
Here are 7 tips on how to keep your customers remarkably happy.
- Talk to your customers regularly
Schedule periodic calls with your customers to learn more about them and what you can do to make their lives easier. Ask great questions that will help you identify your businesses strengths and weaknesses. You'll build stronger relationships and learn new ways to grow your business in the process.
- Strive to be different
Being different sets you apart from your competitors. Let’s admit it; most people are usually attracted to the leading brands in the market. You certainly want to be as great as possible, but what makes you different? Why should someone buy from you instead of your competitors? Identify those attributes that make your business unique and special, then promote the heck out them!
- Create valuable content
Content will help you build authority in your field. Sharing new market insights, opportunities and your opinion on certain matters will also help you stay on top of your game. Podcasting, blogging, video...the type of content you choose to put out really depends on you. Do what you are comfortable with. If you publish valuable content that helps your customers succeed they will be eternally grateful to you and your business.
- Be decisive
A majority of clients come to your business because they believe you are an expert . You cannot afford to be uncertain about what you can and cannot accomplish for your clients. They need to read confidence in the conversations you have with them. Avoid words such as “if” and "maybe" in your communications. Taking the time to prepare for your client conversations will help ensure you come across as the expert and instill confidence in your clients.
- Be realistic on what you can offer
One of the most common mistakes small businesses make is over promising to their clients, which inevitably leads to disappointment. You may think such a move will increase sales, but if you consistently do not meet expectations it will negatively impact your reputation and customer retention. Upset customers are likely to share their bad experience with a number of people. Even worse, most unhappy customers won't say a word to you about it, you'll never even know. In order to prevent negative chatter about your business set realistic expectations so you don’t end up disappointing your clients. Focus on underpromising and overdelivering!
- Identify opportunities proactively
Make proactive efforts to know what needs to be done to improve the customer experience rather than waiting for customers to make suggestions. This is closely related to #1 above. By communicating with customers regularly via surveys, email, phone and in person you can gather critical information on areas of improvement. Proactive communication with clients sends a message that you care about them and their investment in your business benefits them too.
- Always show your customers kindness and gratitude
Customers are the lifeblood of your business. Something as simple as saying “thank you” shows customers they are greatly appreciated. So many people have forgotten what it means to be humble, kind and sincere. Letting your customers know how much you truly care is one of the best ways of building customer loyalty. Find the touch points in your business where you can add individualized messages to let your customers know they are appreciated. You won't be sorry you did.
Some of the most impactful things you can do to grow your business are the simplest. These tips are very actionable. I hope you found at least a few that will help your business grow.
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PS. Any business looking to improve communication with their audience, increase engagement, and improve retention can benefit from a mobile app. Small business owners in the salon & spa, bar & club, restaurant, retail, hospitality and nonprofit industries are seeing success with mobile apps. Is a mobile app right for your business? CLICK HERE to find out.
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