It is extremely common for people who intentionally shop at small businesses to be doing so to circulate money within their own community. However, it is just as common for people to shop with small businesses because the business owner has taken the time to build a trusting relationship with their customers. As a small business owner, there are a lot of small things you can do in order to turn a shopper into a regular customer.
Learn Your Customers' Names
One cue from big business that can increase your customer's loyalty is to learn helpful information about your customer. Create an email list and send out newsletters every week. You can also build a website, a blog, and create a social media profile. Encourage your customers to tell you more about themselves, so that you can offer customized products and special discounts to them. Also, send customized thank you notes to them when they make a purchase.
Make It Easy to Connect
The easier it is for customers to contact you, the more likely they will be to purchase from you. Provide your contact information on your website, blog, and social media profile. In addition to Twitter, your business should have an Instagram and a Facebook account as well. It might even be a good idea to hire a social media manager to handle your social media profiles for you. They can respond to messages and keep the profiles active.
One of the best ways to figure out how to treat your customers is to spend a little time in their shoes. Go to other stores and take on the role of "the customer". After you get home, sit down and think about what you liked and didn't like about the experience. Were there things you wish the business had done differently or better to improve your experience? You can apply what you learn to your own place of business.
Communicate with Your Customers
Don't be shy about having a conversation with your customer. Something as small as saying hello and goodbye will mean the world to them. Encourage your employees to ask how your customer's day has been and if the customer was able to find everything he/she needed. A little friendly conversation will go a long way.
As you can see, being social, friendly, and putting yourself in the customers' shoes are the keys to getting customers to like your small business enough to come back for a second shopping trip.
Contact a business performance training service for more help.
Finding a consultant to help you improve your business isn't hard to do. There are plenty of good consultants out there in many fields who are more than happy to ensure that you get the benefit of their experience. But getting good advice and implementing it are two different things. It can be very difficult to make changes in the way that your business runs, even if you want to. Habits become entrenched, and they're hard to break. This blog is about learning how to change the culture in your place of business to help you more easily accept a change in business practices. Don't waste your consulting dollars by failing to implement the changes that they recommend.