Customers are the lifeblood of our businesses. Without them, we can’t survive in this harsh environment, and we’d be hard pressed to make any profits if we have no one to sell our products and services to. While big corporations go through customer orders like a hot knife through butter, there are many small startup businesses that utilise a different strategy to keep the orders flowing: customer relations.
Businesses thrive because they meet a demand that consumers want. Whether it’s a niche product or just good quality items, you need to meet a demand for consumers. While it’s difficult in the current business landscape to provide niche products (everything from potato messages to pet rocks seems to be covered) there is another consumer demand that few businesses meet: customer service.
Remember Your Customers and Treat Them Well
If you provide a service or product that can be renewed or upgraded, then you need to keep in touch with your customers. Very few businesses sell something that’s just a one-off. An easy way to keep in touch with clients is to send them emails to update them on your new products, deals, and offers. However, make sure you don’t start sending emails every day because there’s nothing worse than a spammy business—you don’t want to end up on spam filters.
Another way to engage customers is to send them gifts. Something simple like a gift card with a coupon or branded stationery is a cheap and effective choice. Stubby holders by Dynamic Gift are also a fun alternative. It’s possible to setup automated mailing systems that will remind your customers every couple of months about your latest products and new surrounding your business.
Customer loyalty is also something that you should reward. Allow your clients and consumers to set up loyalty cards to accumulate points, and give your oldest customers special deals to make them feel appreciated.
Treat Customers How You Want to Be Treated
Be honest with yourself—would you prefer it if your coffee shop barista was grumpy every day? Probably not. Consumers like to feel welcome when they approach a business. It doesn’t matter if you use internet marketing to advertise your products or place banners and welcome signs in your retail store, everyone wants to feel like they are being greeted into your business.
So how do you change your approach to customer service? Simple. Think about how you’d like to be treated if you were a consumer for your business. Would you prefer there to be more or less communication between you and the customer? Although it’s a golden rule to keep in touch with your customers, too much communication is a very real problem. Do you think your staff are polite or could they do with a bit of training? Is there too much or too little information on your products?
A great way to test your business is to ask a friend or family member who isn’t affiliated with your company to use your services or buy a product from you. Ask them to report to you how they found the entire process, and use that advice to tweak your business.