If you think attracting new customers is tough, try retaining the ones you have. Not only must you have enough brand cache to get them in the door, but you have to offer a quality product and a good enough experience to make them want to come back. Hit on one or two of those, and you might have a customer on your hands. Hit on all three, and you might have a customer for life. With the rampant rise in popularity of online shopping, some brick and mortar locations have found a need to constantly angle for new ways to increase traffic into the store.Given the fact that some estimates peg the cost to attract a new customer at up to seven times the cost of what it takes to retain one, the smartest brick and mortar businesses put a heavy emphasis on deepening customer loyalty. If you’re looking for new ways to jumpstart your own customer retention efforts, you’re in luck. We’ve put together a list of three of our favorite methods below.
There’s a common belief that employees leave jobs because they want more money. In our heads, we often think of these emotionally charged decisions in the way that they’re portrayed in pop culture. We picture scenes that involve the ironfisted boss rebuffing the underdog employee’s request for a modest raise. The reality is far less dramatic. In fact, only about 12% of employees leave their jobs over money, but nearly 80% exit because they don’t feel appreciated. To put it bluntly, people quit bosses, not companies. Respectful, inclusive, and collaborative working environments go a long way to improving your overall retention and employee productivity.
Contrary to what some may believe, there are still effective methods of advertising your small business that don’t involve the internet. If you just let out a gasp and clutched your chest, we understand why you’d feel that way. Between display, social media, search engine marketing, remarketing, video and email, the tried-and-true approaches of yesteryear seem all but forgotten. But the truth is, tactics like direct mail can still work if done in the right way.Postcard marketing is a perfect example. In one survey conducted in the UK, 57% of respondents said that postcard marketing made them feel more valued and that a postcard created a more authentic relationship. As it turns out there’s something to be said for a tangible ad. One that you can hold and put on the fridge. If using postcards is an approach that you’re considering adding to your marketing mix, you should be aware of both the pros and cons.
The most successful small businesses are usually those that stick to well-defined processes that run like clockwork. Whether it’s over the course of bidding, product development, customer service or invoicing, developing a proven and effective flow for how, when, where and why things happen can be the difference in a company thriving and not surviving.While many leaders of small businesses recognize the value in a referral program as a lead generation source, less will realize the importance of process planning. In the same way, a lack of control can cause chaos in product development or in customer service, let's say, the same can be said about a referral program. If you really want to do it right, here are four questions to ask yourself before starting a referral program.
Think about the last few purchases you made. How many of them were purely impulse buys? Where you hadn’t done any research on the manufacturer/provider, the product/service, or even spoke with someone who had? The fact is that 90% of people believe in brand recommendations from friends. Word-of-mouth marketing has never been more critical than it is today. In addition to the bump it provides in conversion rates, a huge benefit to utilizing word-of-mouth is that there’s no cost. Word-of-mouth isn’t the only cost-effective way to reach potential customers in a targeted way. The rise of social media has also given small businesses the type of publishing platform that used to come with a pretty expensive price tag.
There’s a reason why you’re more likely to find an old “Yellow Pages” phonebook in an antique shop than someone’s home. Like rotary telephones, black and white televisions and typewriters before it, new technology basically left the printed directory in the dust. We all know most people now go online to gather information, but did you know 90% of American adults use the internet? And they’re not just searching for phone numbers either.
For small businesses, one of the keys to success is establishing consistent cash flow. Whether you own a three-man plumbing company or a small bakery, you need monthly revenue. Some small businesses can't afford to maintain a dedicated billing and invoicing department. As a result, the work of drawing up and sending out invoices falls to the owner, who already has a ton of other priorities to juggle. In other cases, small businesses may dedicate a specific time of the week to creating and sending invoices. The billing process can get slowed down, and maybe even delayed or overlooked altogether. Not getting those invoices out in a timely fashion can choke up cash flow and can cause stress. The latest small business software can bring major relief.
Business software can help you manage your workforce, budget, work orders, and billing and invoicing. But while a great deal of attention is being paid to how these platforms can enhance productivity and support optimization, they also create the foundation for powerful connections between businesses and their customers. Software focused on customers, is commonly referred to as a customer relationship manager (CRM). The most comprehensive CRMs can impact the way businesses access and interpret customer data, and launching marketing campaigns for securing retention. These programs transform phone calls, and even website visits into actionable data that feed conversions, retention, and growth. Here we share some of the ways in which this software can help your small business. Improving customer relationships and retention rates.
Think about any office setting from any 80s movie, and chances are there was a scene with a giant Rolodex on the desk. These rotating file devices were the method of choice when it came to storing a customer’s critical contact information. If you're on the fence about migrating from a system that uses paper, check out these three reasons why it’s very important to have a CRM system.