We all know bringing in #NewCustomers grows a business. Advertising and Marketing help find those new customers. But if not done correctly it can actually HURT a business. Many of us that deal with small businesses know how tight their budgets are, and, unfortunately how they usually feel that advertising and/or marketing is an expense they can afford to cut.
I once had a client, a service business (people had to make appointments) that swore the advertising & marketing was not working. They were not growing. I knew something other than the advertising was probably the reason. So I suggested we look over the income, customer base, old and NEW customers, types of service – basically an overview of the business itself.
What I found was astonishing – they were getting NEW customers every month, but the owner was right – they were not growing. The owner blamed the advertising. Amazing! I tried to explain that it has to be an internal issue causing the lack of growth. Customers were not coming back. I tried to explain if you are bringing in new customers each month and your customer base was not growing, then it seemed obvious – at least to me- that the customers were not coming back and you were losing existing customers. It was hard for the owner to see and admit that something internally might be the cause. I explained we needed to find the reason before spending any more money on advertising and bringing in more new customers.
Owners need to realize that advertising and marketing has to have in-house systems supporting the plan for it work properly. Businesses need to work on How to #KeepCustomersHappy so they return. Once the Marketing Plan shows results, the business and staff need to do their part to make sure it continues to work. It is better to start off each month with an ever increasing customer base than to have to spend more $$ to just maintain numbers. It should not stop at bringing in NEW customers – you need to appreciate your existing customers.
They are a number of ways to achieve #CustomerSatisfaction; Rewards Programs, some of which are built into credit card company services, are a great way to track # of visits and/or $$ amount spent each month by customers – and then reward them with a special. WHAT you reward is important. A % Off is NOT a reward. It has to show the customer that they are important to you. It should also help increase your business, have an expiration date, have and not be too complex with restrictions. For a restaurant an example would be 2 FREE desserts with any 2 meals purchased in house, and have an expiration date. Service industries – add an extra service, for example a Spa can add a product or longer service. a Marketing person can help pick the right item so it helps your business.
This accomplishes a few things – it shows the customer you value them, brings them back in, maybe sooner than they would have without the offer, is an add-on item so it does not take away from an existing sale, and it can get them to try something they had not. If the product, service and experience are GOOD, customers will return.
Future blogs will be about how #GoodCustomerService can make or break a business. Little things businesses can do to help make decision in their favor when people are ready to shop, dine, or have a service done.