Whether you’re managing a large or small business, the key to success remains the same. It’s customer retention. While you can attract new clients with good marketing, keeping them is an entirely different thing. Loyal customers are the ones who will keep your store afloat even when the business is slow. They can also help you lure new clients through recommendations.
Here are a few things you can do to expand your customer base:
Ask for Feedback
Thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier to hear what customers have to say. One option is an effective online survey tool. It’s the best way to get comprehensive data straight from your customers. Once you get a decent number of submissions, you can easily pinpoint strong and weak points. Then, you can highlight the things that your business is doing right. For example, your clients say one of your brand’s best qualities is the responsive customer service. You can use this as a selling point and cite the customer survey as the reference so it would be more believable.
On the other hand, you can also use the weak points as a way to improve your business. For instance, price is one of the lowest rated areas. You can lower the price of your product or service to be more competitive. If this isn’t an option for you, you can introduce cheaper alternatives. You can sell a smaller and more affordable version of your product.
Besides an online poll, you can also use reviews to get an idea of what your customers think. The downside to reviews is that you may not get usable data from all submissions. Unless you have a required minimum number of words, you’ll get a lot of vague, short posts.
Remember that your work shouldn’t end at asking for feedback. You should use the data from the surveys and reviews to improve your product or service. Customers like businesses that listen to them.
Check out any online store these days and you’ll notice that there’s some sort of motivation for customers to keep buying. Some sites offer free shipping when your order reaches a certain amount. Bigger businesses have memberships that have a lot of incentives for repeat customers.
These programs are not anything new. Even before the rise of the internet, stores have loyalty programs. One of the main differences is that they used to give out cards, now it’s all about virtual memberships. One of the reasons why these programs have stood the test of time? It’s because they work. One expert attributes the success of programs like Amazon Prime on the way it makes people feel. He says that people feel as if they have elevated status despite the fact that anyone can pay for the same service.
Besides the exclusivity, it also gives customers another reason to buy from you. Even if a competitor sells the same product at a similar price, they’re more likely to buy from you just so they can use their membership.
Besides memberships, you can also offer simple promos. For example, after someone buys five products from you, offer a $5 discount. You can also take a page from Sephora’s book. The makeup giant is famous for giving freebies and samples with people’s purchases. Plus, providing samples can also help you in the long run. If people happen to like what they’ve tried, they’ll buy the regular sized product. You can also use incentives to encourage people to give feedback. Give clients discounts or free products after they submitted a minimum number of reviews.
Track Your Competitors
You should always keep an eye out for your competitors because customers will do the same. When a consumer is buying a product, they typically compare prices and specifications from different shops. If they find that there’s a different store with a better offer, they’ll buy from them instead.
You can also lure customers away from them by checking out their reviews. For example, they have complaints about how slow they send out their orders. You can show off that your shipments are rarely late. Another instance is if your competitor has a product that’s always sold out. You can highlight that you have a similar item that’s available for purchase.
When it comes to operating a small business, it’s important to be proactive and observant. Don’t rely on your current client base because there’s always a way to help expand them. Listen to what your customers have to say and find a way to improve your products or services.