Four Ways Entrepreneurs Can Make Customers Feel Special and Boost Business
People like to feel special even if it’s something as small as having their names remembered. Personal touches from entrepreneurs can give their customers those same feelings, whether it’s remembering their size, birthday or a fact from their last visit. When a customer feels special, that typically translates at the register, which is why it’s important for business owners to take the time to go the extra mile for their customers and be successful.
Making those relationships stronger helps build loyalty with customers so they won’t want to go anywhere else for those goods or services, and they’ll let others know about you, too. Entrepreneurs don’t have a lot of time or money, but here are four ways they can connect with customers on a more personal level to improve business.
Get to know your customers. As an entrepreneur, you have the advantage of getting to know your customers on a more personal level. You don’t have a large fleet of employees, so chances are you are at your business the most, which allows you to have more interactions with your customers and identify their likes and dislikes.
Use this to your advantage. Set aside that special lotion you know Betty picks up each month if your supply is going low so it will be there the next time she comes in. Offer to call that customer when the item they want comes in, too. Bigger businesses don’t have the time to do this.
Use snail mail. Start a mailing list and use the data to send personal messages to customers. It could be a thank you note after a big purchase, a holiday greeting or a birthday card. You can also send invitations to upcoming sales, promotions or events. Emails are easy to miss as people get so many these days. A personal piece in the mail shows you took the extra time and cost to show your customer is appreciated and/or missed.
Messages also can go out to customers who haven’t shopped with you in a while, such as a card with a “We miss you” message and a coupon for their next purchase. Take it a step further by also sending messages if you know a customer is sick or has experienced a loss. You can use tailor-made stationery and specialty envelopes (such as those offered by Company Folders) to add an extra personal touch.
Show your community support. As an entrepreneur, you have the power to support any causes or host any events you want without the approval of corporate big wigs. You can set up a benefit for the local family that lost their home in a fire, collect food and supplies for the homeless shelter or allow animal rescue groups to have an adoption fair at your business. You can even close your business for the day so that you and your employees can help clean up a local park. How you choose to support your community is up to you.
Getting your hands dirty with fellow community members or digging deep to help others speaks to your character. Customers will be more likely to frequent your business if they see you giving back. It will show them how their purchases go back to help the community in which they live. It also shows the ways in which you and your business can directly service the area — something that isn’t always evident from larger businesses.
Answer the phone. Picture this: You have an issue and you call to get it fixed. But before you can tell anyone about your problem, you have to solve the mystery that is the automated phone prompt. It’s frustrating enough to have the issue in the first place; why should a business add to that frustration by making you jump through hoops just to speak to someone?
That’s why it sounds simple, but another personal touch you can add to your business is answering the phone. Even if it’s not you specifically, make sure there is an employee on hand to answer the phone and greet the person on the other end with a friendly voice. This will allow you and your employees to get to know your customers better and meet their needs quicker.
Your work is cut out for you as an entrepreneur, but the rewards are great if you’re successful. Customers are the backbone of your business, so it makes sense that taking the time to provide extra care and special attention to them will help you succeed. Hopefully, these four tips will help you add that personal touch to your business. Do you have any other ways? Tell us in the comments on our social media pages.
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