In doing your best to run your small business, do you at times feel as if even that is not good enough?
If you answered yes to that question, where exactly do you go from here?
Despite what you feel are your best efforts to put your small business on top, the job just is not getting done. As a result, your competition is pulling away (or has pulled away) from you in the process.
When times get tough, you need to sit down and reassess what it is you are missing out on when it comes to giving your customers what they truly want.
With that being the case, has the time come to do that reassessment?
How Best to Satisfy Your Customers
So that you are best able to meet the needs and demands of your customers, keep the following four tips in mind:
- Customer service
Above all else, customer service must stand out in terms of priorities for you and your employees (if you do not run a one-person show).
With customers oftentimes having a myriad of choices as to where they want to do business, you can’t afford to have a lackluster approach to customer service. Given millions of customers are on-the-go 24/7, it is important that you do whatever it takes to appease them, thereby giving them less of a reason to go elsewhere.
One way to make customers stand up and take notice over the service you give them is how you go about accepting transactions.
When you are accepting credit cards for your small business anywhere, anytime, you certainly encourage more consumers to shop with you.
For instance, if you want a small business that can accept charges on the move, adding that mobile capability to your brand is sure to bring in more sales. Examples of where this can be accomplished at would include:
- Selling products and/or services at networking events, trade shows etc.
- Selling your items at community events
- Selling your brand when going to meet with clients and/or making deliveries.
The bottom line is that making transactions easy for customers is one of the great ways to keep them coming back for more.
Do you have a professional website that is quite frankly the envy of other small businesses?
If the answer is no, you are better served in spending time addressing your site’s needs.
For starters, look at these questions:
- Does your website provide consumers with not only worthwhile information on your products and/or services, but also an assessment of your overall industry?
- Do you have an online store? If so, how easy do you make it for consumers to purchase items from you?
- Does your site download easily, avoiding issues like slow-loading pages and 404 error pages?
- Do you make it simple on your site for consumers to reach out to you, providing easy to find contact info?
When your website is running with optimum speed and precision, your brand stands to benefit.
Although you can only cut prices so many times before seeing your revenue take a hit, it is wise to offer rewards programs to the most loyal of customers.
As an example, set a points program or something of that kind where customers can achieve discounts, free gifts etc. after spending a certain amount of money with you.
You can also reward loyal customers when they help bring in new business for you, oftentimes via family members and friends.
Lastly, ask them for their birthdays, and then give them a little gift and/or discount if they come in that day or order online with you on that date.
By providing them with incentives to keep doing business with you, you and your brand stand to gain.
Finally, although there is nothing certain in this world but death and taxes, having a small business that has been around for many years is yet another reason many people will want to do business with you.
As the years past, make sure that your efforts to satisfy customers don’t become complacent, something that can a surefire way to lose many of them.
When you have a brand that is familiar to many people, a brand that is well respected and always looks to improve, odds are that durability will bring in the next wave of customers.
Also, don’t forget to have a succession plan in place for when you decide to retire or unexpectedly pass away.
So that your small business can carry on for many years to come once you’re no longer in the picture, plan now for the inevitable.
At the end of the day, being the small business most customers want to do business with is a darn good feeling to have.
Photo credit: Liam Matthews on Flickr. CC-BY-2.0.