Image by: Joshua Uhl
By Judy Willard
Many larger companies have difficulty keeping customers for long periods of time. This is because these larger companies rarely consider what individual customers actually want from the business they are giving money to. They often work off of sample audiences, and do their best to consider pricing rather than customer service.
Most consumers consider great customer service and personalized messages a breath of fresh air in companies they purchase from. For this reason, it is essential for you to tailor your company to individual consumer needs.
If you are looking to keep your customers coming back and attracting new customers, there are some great ways to show your audience how important they are to your business. It all begins with identifying them as people, not numbers. Check out these four ways to show your customers that they aren’t just numbers on a spreadsheet to you.
#1) Personalize E-mails
If you have just started your business, and you have a handful of faithful customers, now is the time to take a moment to show them what they are really doing for your company.
Send out personalized emails to your most loyal customers. Tell them what your plans are for the future of your company. Use their first names, and sign the email with your first name. This creates a connection to your customers.
If you have a lot more customers that are extremely loyal, a great technique for personalizing emails is to create a template in which you write all of the same information, but you add their names and additional personalized information throughout the email.
This template can help you connect to your customers and save you time doing so.
#2) Incentives Based On Their Orders
Take a look at the largest orders you’ve had over the last three months. Instead of generically thanking your customers for their orders, pay attention to what they are ordering.
Use this information to offer your best customers specials, coupons, or even free shipping on future orders. This is a great way to show your customers that you are paying attention to what they are interested in.
Everyone wants to feel special. Therefore, if your company contacts a loyal big-spender of a customer with incentives for future purchases, you will be showing your customers how important they are to your business. This will keep them coming back.
So, send your customers a card or an email with a little bonus just for them. For example, you might write: “I see that you are incredibly interested in our fall keychain line. With your next purchase of $50 or more, we will offer you an additional keychain from the fall line as a thank you for helping us meet our financial goals this quarter.”
This will make the customer feel as though they are a huge part of your company, which will keep them coming back.
#3) Attend to Their Needs Personally
Consumers are the foundation of your company. Without a strong customer base, your company will struggle to make ends meet every quarter. This may seem like common sense, but when customers ask you for a specific item that you do not carry and you do not plan to carry, it could lead to you losing that customer.
When a customer wants a specific item, and asks you for it, that means this customer wants to make the purchase at your place of business (onsite or online). If it is within your means, and the customer is willing to pay the price you mark the item, you should definitely do your best to stock that item for your customer.
When a customer asks you for something specific, they are basically telling you that you will have a near-guaranteed sale. For this reason, you should work with you customers to give them the best possible shopping experience.
When you show them that you are working for them, customers will continue to come back to your place of business to make purchases. Additionally, by giving them that one-on-one discussion and experience, you are able to help your customers understand that you recognize them as people, and as a huge part of the reason you are successful.
#4) Let Them Know They Are Heard
Everyone wants their opinion to count. For this reason, it is essential to ask for feedback on your products or services. While this can sometimes lead to negative responses, the feedback can most often be helpful to creating a stronger business.
If you notice that your customers leave mostly positive feedback, and don’t really offer a lot of suggestion for growth or change, you may want to contact a few loyal customers specifically, and ask them how their experiences with your company could be better. Keep doing what they are loving, but getting a little extra feedback is a great way to show your customers that you value their opinions.
Now, if your notice that a lot of customers are leaving negative feedback, it is time to take a look at what they are saying. If their experience with customer service was so bad that they will never return to your establishment, it is time for you to ask them what you could be doing better. When a customer realizes that you value his or her thoughts, they are more inclined to give your business another try.
Showing your customers how important your feedback is can be the difference between you closing your doors or making the biggest profit you have ever seen.
When you make your changes, send out an email to your customers showing them everything you have changed. Tell them that their feedback and input has really helped you shape the way you have run your business.
This, in effect, will make the customers feel as though they are a part of your business, which will give them a sense of importance, and create a loyalty from them that will keep them coming back.
Your customers are your greatest asset in your small business. Keep them coming back by showing them how important they truly are to your dreams! Personalize everything you can to show them that you work in depth with your company. Show them how important they are to your company by asking for feedback and showing them how important their input was for the changes you have made. How do you like to be treated as a customer? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!