Those who've never worked in customer service may not understand the difference between speedy assistance and taking the time to connect with an individual. Advertising can help, but it isn't the same as a genuine interaction with an employee. Even one bad conversation can negatively affect the likelihood of return business from not just one individual but every person they know. Realizing the impact of one versus the other could help draw additional shoppers, even in an economic slump.

Know your clientele

Every sector, be it hospitality or financial services, is directly impacted by its customers and their approval can sway the flow of traffic more effectively than even the best advertising campaign. Taking the time to communicate with customers helps determine what products and services are best received. It also helps enhance that person's experience at the business.

Being recognized and greeted can encourage future business and referrals, according to Inc. Magazine. The publication also points out that, if a shopper considers one business in comparison to another, the one that provides the best experience is more likely to earn return visits.

Seeking social

Reaching out to shoppers both in-store and after they've left reinforces a positive impression and can help assuage misunderstandings before they turn into public relations problems. Microsoft's Steve Strauss recommends using Facebook and other sites to assist with communicating on a one-to-one level with as many people who have been to your business as possible.

According to CBC News, some pages like Yelp, where people can leave reviews and ratings for companies, may have a strong impact on the number of customers who come to an establishment. If enough shoppers have had a very charged experience at a store, be it positive or negative, it can drive away or attract more revenue without the owner having to do anything but provide quality service.

Building loyalty

There are a variety of ways to earn favor with customers, and recognition can be one of the best for both the company and the individual. Not only does it make the person feel appreciated, it also doesn't cost anything more than a phone call or postage stamp to make it happen. With economic constraints weighing heavily on business banking, this tactic can retain relationships for no extra charge.

Scott Gillum wrote for Forbes that customers have been expecting better service and more recognition in recent years. Shoppers know businesses need their money as much as they need to hang on to it, so being picky about where to shop has as much to do with savings as it does quality of the experience. Gillum points out that, past a point, physical incentives won't bring back a customer base.