Every company revolves around its customers. Without them, a financial plan could suffer, profits might dry up and the business could go under. On the contrary, fantastic, loyal consumers mean the world to any firm, and owners and managers should do whatever it takes to keep these types of people coming back for more.
In that case, small business owners should find creative solutions to make sure the best customers – the ones that spend more, offer free advertising and come by frequently – are the ones that are well-rewarded. Building this type of fan base doesn't have to be difficult. In fact, with a few simple financial tips any company could get on the right track.
Become a people person
According to Geoffrey James in an article for Inc.com, Jerry Acuff shared some ideas with him about how to foster relationships between customers and a business. Acuff is the author of The Relationship Edge in Business, and he advocates for strong connections at any company.
Acuff noted that these relationships have to be a priority. Customers are the soul of any good firm, and they can tell when a company cares more about itself and the bottom line rather than them. Therefore, owners who put these people first often stand a better chance of succeeding. Also, businesses should show an actual interest in the people that visit a store. Honest, friendly staff can make a difference, and any connections made could turn into additional information about consumer preferences or provide a boost to a financial plan.
Moreover, a small business should be consistent and reliable, Acuff explained. Consumers may be more willing to be loyal if they trust and value a company. This can be hard to achieve if the venture isn't viewed in a positive light. A steady business model can be a big part of that. If customers know they are going to get value and quality service every time they stop by, they'll view the company in a more favorable manner.
Put in the work and research
Most likely, a small business can't simply guess what the customers want. Some research and leg work is a must in order to craft the best possible firm and financial plan. The human connection is the best way to do this, according to Forbes. People want to talk to other people, and since today's society is so driven by technology, a unique touch may come as a breath of fresh air.
However, those tools – like social media – may act like a double-edged sword. For example, they can help a business reach more people, but they can also remove the human element of the process. Therefore, the initial contact should be made in person, the news source noted. After that, the relationship can be expanded upon with tools like Facebook and Twitter.
In addition, small businesses may improve with a little extra research. Forbes explained that the best way to know what a customer wants is to become one. In that case, small business owners may want to travel from store to store, especially to competitors, and see what those customer service interactions are like. They could be a needed morale boost when it is realized that the big guy isn't so friendly, or it could be an awesome learning experience filled with a number of great ideas on how to increase customer loyalty.
Overall, financial services can help a small business and they can assist customers. Companies that offer online payment options, flexible choices, perks and rewards are more likely to retain good customers. Then, they'll be happier, tell others about how great a certain small firm is, and the cycle will continue – ideally resulting in more sales at the end of the day.