Happy clients require an investment of time, effort and energy that results in a greater return of loyalty, referrals and revenue.
No matter what kind of small business you operate, there are foundational elements that appeal to the audience you’re trying to reach. Whether you call them customers, clients, or patients, these five strategies offer ways to help you make them happy and coming back to your small business.
There’s a commercial out there by a popular credit card company where the customer is surprised because she calls the company and actually gets a real person on the phone. In our day and age of technological advancements, the desire for greater efficiency can actually separate small business owners from the most important people in their business lives: the customers.
That same technology also means that customers expect quick and easy access to information and answers to their questions. This is not to say that you need to have a staff member on call to answer questions 24 hours a day. However, it’s important to think about how to make yourself accessible to people in reasonable ways. One of the ways to do this is to have a simple contact form on your website that customers can fill out. Another option to consider is the inclusion of a “Frequently Asked Questions” page on your website for customers to review.
Allowing patients to interact with your small business through your website – including scheduling appointments and paying bills online – can help build that base of satisfied customers who appreciate your business strategies.
Create A Welcoming Atmosphere
Whether it’s online or in a brick-and-mortar location, it’s critical to create a place where people like to be. If you’re a dentist, this could mean updating all areas of your office, from renovating the waiting room to purchasing new equipment that allows you to offer a wider range of dental services.
Keeping your place of business fresh, clean and updated extends to the aesthetic graphic design chosen for your overall brand and website. These components are a reflection of your small business – in this fast-moving world of information overload, it’s important that the website, as an online version of your small business, is a place your customers want to stay for awhile.
Stay in Touch
While it’s true that we are often bogged down with information, it’s also true that customers appreciate your regular attention. Even if it’s one email newsletter or blog post a month, plan a way to keep your customers updated with news and happenings around your small business. Start building an email list to send out your newsletters or blog posts, and point customers back to your website and brick-and-mortar business for greater marketing reach.
Send Thoughtful Greetings
A more popular trend is for customers to frequent local businesses to support their communities. Show appreciation for these customers by sending thoughtful greetings. In your place of business, make sure to have a way for customers to sign up for your email newsletters or mobile marketing text messages. Use this strategy to take down the month and day of each birthday. Keep this information in a database and send out a special birthday greeting to your customers on a regular basis, along with a special savings coupon that they can come in and use during their special month.
Use Social Media
The world of social media can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Choose one particular social media strategy, (whether that’s Facebook, Linked In or Google+, to name a few) and stick with it. Encourage your customers to interact with you using that social media platform, and integrate it with your website to keep people coming back to your small business information.
And the fact is, your small business has an online reputation, whether you control it or not. It’s time to take charge of your presence on the web through your own small business website, your favorite social media outlet, and those online review sites to make sure your happy customers keep coming back!