This Thanksgiving, what does your business have to be thankful for? If you said customers, then you are on to something. Don’t simply assume that your customers know how grateful you are for their business, prove it to them by focusing on increasing loyalty for your business this November. Loyalty building is a part of branding that can really give you bang for the buck, since loyalty programs take your best customers and increase the business that they give you both themselves and from the strength of the referrals that they bring in to your business. Shout out your superstar customers. When you have a few amazing customers who make up your regulars, it can be worth it to go the extra mile when rewarding them. One way to do so is to to shine the spotlight on them via your business’s native blog or social media profiles. When you highlight your great relationship with customers, it indicates to other potential buyers that you are very

Small business owners fight hard for their customers, and because of this, they often develop strong personal relationships with them that can last for years. However, one error that small business owners sometimes make is assuming that their customers will support them indefinitely, slacking on their efforts to attract new business and build the reach of their brand. Falling into the trap of working with a single big customer to the detriment of others is something that can befall business owners when they are trying to win a large client with great service, and in the same way that can happen, a group of regular customers can diffuse a business owner’s resolve to acquire new clients. If you lose a major customer, how much of your revenues would disappear? Look at your numbers and determine just how big a portion of your business is represented by your best customers. The larger the share, the more important it is that you cover yourself by attracting more. A

  While your customers aren’t on your payroll, they still represent some of the best salespeople you could ask for, provided that you treat them right and reward their loyalty. It can be good shorthand to think of your best customers as being a part of your business, since this not only reinforces their importance for your long term small business success, but also reminds you that you need to work for and reward them for their loyalty in the same way that you would for a star employee. At the heart of customer sales power is word of mouth via their personal relationships and social media activity. The reason why your customers have such an important role to play concerning your business’s ability to make sales is because of the strength of word of mouth, which is one of the most reliable types of marketing out there. In the same way that a salesperson can inform a customer about a product that they think they

  A new customer is usually full of enthusiasm for your business, without knowing exactly how our service or product will stack up in general they are ready for the best even if experience tells them to be prepared for the worst. There is something about a new relationship that is still undefined which carries the feeling of limitless possibilities. Smart business owners will realize that during this special time they have the greatest ability to shape the perceptions that their customers have of their brand, and should act accordingly to put their best foot forward during the onboarding process. One simple, yet highly effective way to do this is to remember the way that you would act in any normal exchange; say thank you. A thank you reminds your customers that you care about them and the success of your relationship. While setting up a thank you package is actually pretty simple, and if you are using crm tools can actually be automatically triggered as

  Small business owners may not fully appreciate the advantages that they have because of their size and their ability to directly control the entirety of their business operations. Aside from the often touted control of their schedules this affords them, they can also enjoy the benefits of much more personal branding, creating relationships with their customers that have the potential to be much more significant and long lasting than those that their corporate counterparts are able to build. Personality is something that, unlike mass produced content, can’t be boiled down to a formula, thus making it a powerful X factor in the hands of a business owner willing to share some with their customers. What is the personality of your brand? Your brand probably already has a certain personality associated with it by your customers. Finding out how they view you is a good start when deciding how to go about building your brand image, so you may want to simply reach out to your customers

To educate someone is to pass on knowledge that they can own and apply for their own purposes. In the context of a business, educating customers means providing them with insight peculiar to your own experience, as well as informing them of ways that they can use your products. The more that your customers are able to learn from you, the further you provide them with value and can effectively win their loyalty. Appearing as an expert in your field can create a large amount of value over time, allowing you to leverage the value of your perspective in many ways. Uses of your products. While your customers already have uses for your products and services, they may not know about everything that you can provide for them unless you take the time to educate them on the full range of offerings within you business and their various applied uses. White papers are a common way for businesses to provide information on their products to clients

When customers are able to engage with their favorite brands, it can be a very special thing. A brand can mean a lot to a person for a lot of different reasons, and when a relationship with a favorite business carries deeper meaning for a customer, they should be respected as a valuable source of insight both when it comes to customer service and product direction, as well as looked to to identify good things about a business that the owner of the business may not even realize themselves. In the internet age, the tendency to remix, repackage and reinvent has translated into a vibrant opportunity for brands who are able to tap into these impulses on the part of their customers. While poor customer service has the potential to kill a business, positive customer experiences and outreach can unlock a wealth of positive development for business owners and their customers alike. Create a directive for your customers to respond to. While your customers might be

The distinction between talking to someone and at someone is a big one to take into account in all forms of communication, from marketing to management. When talking at consumers, brands put out their message in a way that is simply there and not able to be commented on or interacted with in a way that meaningfully includes that brand. By contrast, most digital marketing nowadays strives to initiate a two way conversation between customers and the brand, jump-started by their original message and content. Things that businesses can begin to think of as “fire and forget” marketing tools, for example a company newsletter, should be revisited with the goal of making them easier to engage with. Even mediums of advertising that are non-digital still have the potential to incorporate the beginnings of a conversation that can be moved to digital media through incorporating calls to action, questions, polls that can be voted on and other enticements customers react to. Why is fostering dialogue important? As

In an article on, the idea of having a Chief Customer Officer is explored, with some stats put forward to back up the idea of a manager dedicated to optimizing how customers interact. For example, the article cites a CCO Council study that reported 67% of participating companies reported positive financial growth while employing CCOs. The potential for upside financially is a powerful argument towards a more comprehensive approach to customer relationship development, but a dedicated department that works solely on customer relationship building and promoting loyalty can have positive effects in other areas as well, for example through increased brand recognition and word of mouth advocacy. Does your small business need a CCO? Each small business has different needs depending on the strength of already existing customer relationships as well as the size and market share of the business. In general, implementing a set of CRM policies and using software and cloud based technologies to get organized should be the first step that businesses

As a business grows in both popularity and production capacity, there will come a time when the physical location that they began with no longer supports the level of business that they are handling. At this point, business owners will either need to open up a second location or move to a larger one in order to make the most of all the potential business they can create. In the event that they opt to go with a larger location, there are a few things that they need to get a handle on before they are able to commit. Fumbling the transfer of their business to a new area can not only disrupt cash flows and waste liquid capital, but it can even lead to them losing business to competition during the down time of their move. In general, business owners should begin to consider moving to a larger location when they are unable to handle the capacity demands imposed on them by business growth.

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