If your business was the only one of its type (and assuming that it had something to offer others), you would have no trouble securing customers. Unfortunately, your business is probably quite similar to many others in the marketplace, offering customers similar products or services. And as customers are generally quite fickle, they are free to go from one business to the next, as they might have little incentive to stick with one company for the long-term.
This can be a problem for you, the business owner, because for your business to survive, you do need to have a consistent stream of customers coming your way. While some of these people will be new to your business, you have more chances of surviving into the long-term if you can somehow win over the hearts of those who visit you to keep them coming back for more. After all, the more time and money they spend at your business, the better.
So, what can you do to win over the hearts of your customers, and consequently, the contents of their wallets too? Well, here are some suggestions we hope you find useful.
#1: Surpass customer expectations
What do customers expect from your business? Well, this shouldn’t be hard to answer, as thinking of your own relationship with the businesses you use, they will want what you want. After all, we’re pretty sure you expect excellent customer service when you’re communicating with other companies. You probably expect value for money and a reliable product or service too. And then there are other thing you might expect, such as honesty from the business owner and their employees, and easy communication when you need to get in touch with them. You will expect such things, and your customers will expect such things from your business.
So, think about what you need to do, and then try to find ways to surpass their expectations to keep them coming back to your business. The other ideas below might help you with this.
#2: Offer the personal touch
It’s nice when somebody knows your name, isn’t it? It’s good when somebody remembers to include you in something. And it’s great when you are treated like a VIP, and not as some generic other that is merely a commodity to the person in question. And so it is with your customers. If you can relate to them in personal ways, and if you can make them feel special, then you will do much to win over their hearts.
So, get to know your customers a little when they use your business, and make an effort to learn their names. Send out personalized emails when you’re re-marketing to them, instead of a generic message that is geared towards the masses. Wow your customers with handwritten notes as a thank you for using your business, and call or email them when you think you have a new product or service that you think they might genuinely be interested in. And remember their birthdays and other anniversaries, and send out a card or (as in the case of the point below) a free gift, as they might be touched by your effort to remember them.
#3: Utilize the power of a free gift
People love to get something for nothing. We do, we’re sure you do, and your customers probably do too. So, consider giving out freebies occasionally, perhaps when delivering other products your customers have ordered, or as we said above, whenever your customers’ birthdays roll around. You might also give them free gifts as an incentive for them to market your business for you, perhaps when they have used their social media channels to share the word about your business, or when they have graciously provided you with a testimonial quote for your website.
You don’t need to spend a fortune, but make sure the gifts you send out are useful to the customer. And from custom car air fresheners to branded pieces of clothing, make sure the gifts contain your logo, as you will then have the opportunity to market your business to others if your customers use your free products within their lives.
#4: Go green in your business
It’s official: Customers prefer eco-friendly companies. As you can see in the link, people are more likely to use those businesses that have made an effort to go green, and they do this for two reasons. For one, they want to buy from a business that can help them showcase their own green credentials. And two, they want to buy from a business that actively cares about the environment.
So, consider how you might need to go green in your business. You might want to think about how you ship your products, for example, perhaps by using these sustainable packaging methods. The materials you use for your product should be sustainably sourced too, and both you and your employees should adhere to green principles within all aspects of your business. When your customers know you have gone green (showcase what you are doing on your website and your social media channels), they will be more likely to choose you over those other businesses that haven’t yet made the effort to support the ongoing needs of the environment.
#5: Hear what your customers are saying
If your response to this is “I don’t know what my customers are saying” then you are doing something wrong. If you don’t know what it is your customers require from you, then you are never going to meet their needs. You need to keep an eye on business review sites and social media groups, as you will then find out what people think of your business. You need to send out surveys to your customers occasionally. And you need to heed any complaints that find their way into your email inbox. When you know what your customers are saying, you will be able to respond accordingly, and make the necessary changes to improve the customers perception of you. When they know you are taking what they are saying seriously, they might just love your business that little bit more.
So, use our suggestions to improve your customer relations. You will see them return to your business time and again if you do, and you will benefit from the profits that they help you make in your business.