Running a business inherently has a singular goal, that of making as much money as possible. However, there are many factors at play that can influence your odds of success, for better or for worse. One of the most important but underrated aspects of building a successful business is taking care of your customers. Endearing yourself to consumers generates brand recognition and brand loyalty that will increase your company’s value in the public eye. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
One of the most effective ways of endearing yourself to customers is to simply know how to talk to them properly and train your employees to do so. Making a customer feel welcome and valued will make them associate your business with a positive attitude and good service, so make sure you’re giving interactions with customers a personal touch. It’s recommended, for example, to smile when talking to customers, as it not only gives the appearance of a positive attitude, but also the sound. Even talking on the phone, you and your employees should smile, because it can be heard in your voice.
You can also pursue formal training and education regarding these skills, and doing so is highly recommended. For example, negotiations training can impart much in the way of interpersonal skills that can also help with brokering better deals with trading partners. Public speaking training can also help to get you feeling more comfortable speaking to strangers, which makes each engagement feel less stiff and more personal, and it can help you to stutter and stammer less when speaking.
Incentivizing customers to continue to choose you over competitors is a great way to get repeat business, and that is integral to providing yourself with a consistent customer base. There are many ways to accomplish this, but none have the immediate power of rewards programs. Rewards programs offer customers free items and other benefits to customers as a result of spending a certain amount at your store, and this practice is common among retailers. These benefits can also be store credit, as is the case with CVS’s ExtraBucks program, or it can be a free item as a result of making a certain number of purchases, as is the case with many punch card programs.
In addition to providing customers with rewards for spending, you can also incentivize them to patronize your business by simply providing unique and valuable special offers from time to time. This can include frequent sales and other discounts, which is common practice among various businesses, but it can also include gifts associated with purchases, coupons for subsequent purchases, or even coupons for other companies as part of a collaborative promotion. Another way to capitalize on this practice is to include additional services with purchases in much the same way that many companies offer free installation of certain products.
Another important aspect of appealing to customers is simply how your place of business feels, and how it feels is a result in large part of how it looks. Many retailers offer a barebones design that isn’t all that appealing, but it is functional. Likewise, it’s easy to keep clean, and customers can see that it’s clean. However, other types of businesses can focus less on practicalities and more aesthetics and comfort. For example, many banks have carpeted floors and ornate, comfortable seating. On the other hand, any business including retailers can invest in the use of color theory to create a welcoming environment and even reinforce branding.
Operating a successful business entails many things, some of them more intuitive than others. Making your customers feel valued is often overlooked, but it can be accomplished relatively easily once you have the mind for it. Using these tips, you can make your business more inviting and appealing to consumers and build brand recognition and loyalty in order to all but guarantee long term prosperity.