How To Personalize Your Small Business For Customers
Small business owners are in the unique position of having much more leeway when it comes to their marketing strategies, and that can mean the ability to create deep bonds with their customers, boosting their repeat and word of mouth business to new heights. One of the best ways to achieve this level of client satisfaction is through personalization of your services. Nothing says more to a client then a product that they feel is tailor made to them. Even adding in a few choices where none existed before will make your clients feel as if they were allowed to choose exactly what they wanted. Many small business owners balk at the idea of personalization, thinking that in order for there to be touches in their service adapted for individual customers they must spend large amounts of time and effort, which they may not be able to expend. Often they view the word “personalization” as being synonymous with “more work”. This doesn’t have to be the case. Here are a few ideas that can help your customers feel more catered to, without dramatically increasing your overhead or workload.
Learn their preferences. It isn’t hard to create logs of your customers activity, especially if you make online sales using accounts. After a few purchases, you can offer your customers coupons on their favorite products, or suggest something that they might like based on what they have already enjoyed. If this is too much for you, then you can simply have a poll for a new product, allowing your customers to decide what will be put on offer next. Not only is this technique a way to make your customers more involved in your store and what you offer, it is an effective form of market research that can tell you more about your customer base and help direct your marketing efforts.
Allow them to participate. Having customers submit photos, reviews, or even ideas for new products and services. This technique is used by some of the biggest brands out there such as Poptarts or Coca-Cola products. The goal here is to increase customer engagement and give them a say in the direction of the product. They will be more likely to follow up and buy a product that they have voted for. You can host customer photos on your website, or even just post them on a cork board in your brick and mortar location. The more that you make your brand feel like a quintessential part of their lives the better.
Follow up with customers as much as possible. A great way to increase the positive feelings of your customers and incorporate some of the previous ideas in this article is to have follow ups with them, whether through email or over the phone, however you are able to contact your customers, it is a good idea to let them know that you appreciate them and value their business. Businesses like beauty salons, landscaping businesses, automotive businesses and other service oriented enterprises will particularly benefit from simply asking their customers whether or not they had a good experience. In the best case, you will get some nice feedback and have your customers feel even better about what was already a great experience for them. In the worst case, you may learn the reasons why your current approach is not working.
Taken all together, these guidelines should be able to inspire you to find more and more ways to personalize the services that you offer to your customers. Don’t stop with these suggestions, you should be able to think of ways to offer more choice and more engagement to your customers, and in the process, loan yourself an edge.
Photo Credit to Mary Witzig on Flickr