As a small business owner you have worked hard to make a product or offer a service for your customers that meets their needs. You’ve done research to perfect your craft, its been tested and critiqued, re-tested and improved and now your customers love what you’ve provided them. BUT NOW WHAT?? How do you keep the momentum going?
- Do you find more customers to market your product/service to? YES
- Do you spend some money to advertise your products/services? YES
- Do you network and use your resources to get the word out about product/service? YES
But one thing to remember as you are working to continue to build up your owner base with new bright-eyed customers, and that’s not to forget to appreciate and thank the existing customers you already have.
Don’t Fill a Leaky Bucket
It is always important to make sure you find ways to keep an influx of new customers coming when you’re a small business owner, but it is even more important as a small business owner to keep the existing customers happy too. If you only focus on one versus finding a way to accommodate both side of the spectrum, you’ll end up with a full bucket of new customers with a leaky hole of the old customers not returning as repeat customers.
You must work to ensure you pay attention to both the inflow and potential churn and release within your bucket. If you learn nothing else today, remember that its just as important to get new customers as it is to keep your existing customers happy. Happy customers can equate to more happy customers and a very happy non-leaky bucket.
The main reason why its so important to focus on customer loyalty is two-fold. You keep them happy with your product/service, but more importantly to your business:
- You create advocates who will promote your product for you
- You generate an authentic testimonial of your service that other potential customers can use for validation
- You create a loyalist who will stick around to continue to buy from you again, be the one ones interested in upgrades and new products you create and be willing to test new ideas for you just because they care
5 Tips to Loyal Customers
So since you as a small business owner are already doing an amazing job getting customers, here are a few tips to review and check off your list to ensure you are also doing the same amazing job of keeping those customers happy with your product/service.
1. Customer Service
When you dreamed about your business, you imagined and hoped everything would go smoothly, from ordering to delivery to the customer actually getting to utilize your goods first hand. But we know from experience that NEVER happens. This is why you must above all else make sure you provide good customer service for the “what-if” scenarios just in case.
- Whenever a customer makes contact online, make sure to have at least an auto-response that thanks them for signing up, purchasing or reaching out to you. It may seem small, but this gesture goes a long way.
- Just in case a customer wants to make contact with you, have at least (2) ways a customer can communicate with you. Email is always a mandatory, but the second option you pick should be a more time-sensitve tool (i.e. social, chat or phone).
- Make sure whichever option you select that you can respond in a timely manner, and if not please disclose the turnaround time to set customer expectations. Nothing is worst than reaching out with a problem to a company feeling hopeful and then ending up feeling like you were given the run-around because you were not made a priority after spending your hard earned money or worst, no one responded at all.