And there's no better way to start your relationships with your customers than by making a great impression. Here are six ways to show them that you really do care, whether they’re first-timers or regulars.
1. Remember their name—and use it
When someone you met once remembers your name, doesn’t it make you feel all warm and fuzzy? It has the same effect on your customers. When you recognize them as individuals, they’ll see you and your staff as individuals, creating a one-on-one connection.
2. Give people a trial run
When you give customers a taste of what you’re offering, whether it’s through a free estimate, five minutes of on-the-spot advice, or a sample of your product, you’re telling them that your goal isn’t just to make a sale—it’s to help them. And don’t worry, when you truly help someone, that’s when they’ll want to purchase from you.
3. Embrace your fans on social media
Whether you’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or one of the many other social media platforms, this is the place where consumers go to interact with companies. Stay engaged with your followers or fans, and they’ll feel seen and heard by you (and just might tell a friend, or their entire following).
4. Respond to feedback
If someone phones you, or comes to you in person with an issue, you’re there to help them out. That’s exactly how to approach emails, social media, and review sites like Yelp. We know that getting a negative response from a customer can be scary, but when you take the time to write a well-crafted response and get back to them quickly (within a day or two), you’re showing them—and the rest of the internet—that you care.
5. Make things comfortable and convenient
As long as your basics are competitive—price, location, and service quality—then amp up the extras that leave an amazing impression. Make sure there’s more than enough seating, provide free food, make your checkout process simple and efficient, add a thoughtful note or another fun surprise to an outgoing package, make sure your website is visually appealing and up to date. It’s these kinds of things that make your customers remember you.
6. Follow up
No matter what kind of business you’re in, get in touch with a customer through an automated email, phone call or in-person visit as a thank you for their business. Call them by their name, and specifically mention what they purchased. Give them a way to provide you feedback and reward them for their loyalty, maybe with a freebie or a discount code for their next purchase.
Looking for more information on starting a business? We’ve got you covered. Check our our Entrepreneur’s Guide—it’s full of guidance and resources to help you every step of the way.