Customers are hard to find, and after you have found them, it is even harder to retain them. As a business owner, your primary concern should be to keep all the customers that you have managed to attract to your business. This is important because of the cost that is involved in drawing a customer to your business. Here we suggest what you need to do to not only attract but also retain your customers.
i. Know your value proposition
What is it that sets your business apart from your rivals? What is it that you bring to your customers that they cannot find elsewhere? You need to identify the “magnet” that pulls customers to your business. It is impossible to keep customers without first understanding exactly what brings them to your business. Are they endeared to you because of your superior products and services? Is it your competitive pricing? Or are they attracted to your courteous customer service team? Once you identify what attracts your customers, then you need to find ways to amplify this effect to keep them coming for more.
ii. Prioritize Customer Satisfaction
You need to remember that your business exists to serve the interests of your customers. In actual sense, the customer is the boss. In this regard, make it your primary aim to identify their needs and address them the best way you can. Redesign all your business processes, if you must, to be customer-centric. Whether you are in the manufacturing business or in the service sector, make sure that all your business processes are geared towards satisfying the needs of your customers. Keeping your customer's happy means that they will stay loyal to you and a loyal customer is a repeat customer.
iii. Understand your customers’ buying behavior
Since you are in the business for the long haul, you can as well go deep and study your customers’ buying behavior. By conducting such a study, you will be able to understand the preferences, attitudes, decisions, and intentions that customers have when buying a product or a service from you. You can then redesign your sales and marketing processes to promote those behaviors that lead to more sales while addressing those that might hinder sales. Simply put, understanding your customer's’ buying behavior will enable you to design products and services that will be readily accepted by your customers.
iv. Be specific in your marketing
Generic marketing doesn't work especially when you are out looking for customers. As a small business owner, you need to appreciate the fact that there are bigger rivals in your industry who have seriously invested their resources to get the same client or customer that you are eyeing. However, you can beat the big businesses by targeting your marketing to decision makers. If you are selling a product or a service, start by asking yourself, who is the decision maker in the organization I am targeting? Once you have identified the decision maker, package your marketing material in a way that it will appeal to the decision maker. If you are sending out the material in an email, make sure you use the right subject and salutation that will entice the recipient of the e-mail to open and read your e-mail.
v. Use Social Media
Social media is a great platform where you can connect with your customers and attract some new ones. Traditionally, if customers wanted to make inquiries all they needed to do was to pick a phone and call you. Today, customers find it more convenient to make inquiries online and mostly via social media pages owned by businesses. Similarly, when a customer has a complaint or wants to rate a business, they can also do this online. You need to engage with your customers consistently on social media and respond to queries and concerns. You also need to respond to any negative feedback given by a disgruntled customer.
In sum, you can attract and keep your customers by engaging them through social media, using target marketing, understanding buyer behavior, prioritizing customer satisfaction and knowing your value proposition. You can try any or all of these and see what works for you.