Tips For Small Business Owners: keep customers coming back
When businesses do attract new customers, it’s now a lot harder to keep them. The web has enabled your customers to shop the entire planet for the best deals and bulk buys. This means you the business owner must work harder and smarter to keep your customers.
Studies show that consumers have a low tolerance for bad service. You can see this pattern very obviously in hair salons, after about three negative experiences, customers will abandon your salon.
Often it’s the issues related to service or your support that will break the loyalty chain between your customer and your business, whether you are brilliant at what you do or not.
So Stop Pushing Products or Services. No one cares, or wants to be sold anything….. my last visit to a Hair salon, as I walked back to my chair there was a massive push to have a treatment. Now let’s face the truth, it wasn’t because my hair really needed a treatment, although a lovely scalp massage would have been great. It was because my stylist had sold highlights to the client after me and she was running behind…Come on guys!
Shoppers are calling the shots
Small Businesses that strengthen relationships with new and existing customers will differentiate themselves and dominate as the economy recovers.
People don’t care about products. But that’s what most advertising or promotion is about – product message or company message, not your skills or relationship. People do care about themselves and care deeply about solving problems.
In your role as a business person, providing goods and services, there should be only three reasons for clients to do business with you.
- To help identify or clarify their emotional needs for your product or service (so they’ll buy)
- To become more knowledgeable about your offering (so they’ll be clients who return again)
- To feel inspired by your understanding, relationship and services(so they’ll refer others to you)
That’s it. Period.
Everything you do and say, everything clients see, perceive and read about, should be focused on one or more of these things. Why? Because there’s nothing else you want from your clients.
Am I right?
Do you care if your clients are impressed with you?
Do you care if they think your Lexus is a nice car?
Do you care if they like your picture in an ad?
If you do, I’ve got bad news, because you’re concerned with the wrong things. Impressions and cars and attractive photographs of your awards are non-income producing concerns.
Just stand back and listen to the conversation in any small business.
Where is the focus?
Are you or your staff losing sight on what your real roles and responsibilities are?
As harsh as I may seem there are only three good pitches:
- return on investment
- referrals or recommendations
Let’s face it; you want people to seek you out for your services and business atmosphere over the products you offer… both now and in the future.
Many years ago I had the opportunity to visit Disneyland. This extraordinary experience even thirty or so years later is still embedded in my mind. When you understand, how their philosophy has been embodied by all team members, how proud they are to be working there. This is something all business should look at.
When YOU Do What You Do So Well…
…People Can’t Resist Telling Others About You!
“Are my services meeting my client’s needs, wants and desires consistently?”
Then have look at your database and see the life time value of your clients; the number of clients not returning to you can be a tough reality check. I know. However that was the start of the increase in my profit.
This is one area that all staff need to be on top of and to really learn how to communicate with their client.
Remember: this is your business and will have a major impact on your life. Take control of it and do only the things that leads you positive results.
About the author: Helene Mearing of Ignites Winners has 30 years business experience and is author of http://yoursmallbusinessmagic.com/ helping small business owners overcome problems and achieve their dreams.