May 23, 2012
Dave published this at 2:00 pm
If you see your sales numbers and return on investment (ROI) taking a significant dip as we near the midway point of 2012, perhaps it is time to give a second look to your companyâ€™s customer relationship management (CRM) skills.
Sit down and simply ask yourself as a small business owner what tactics you are employing to make the experience every one of your customers has better each time.
Among the steps that you should be employing:
- Properly branding your product â€“ While other companies scale back their marketing efforts when dollars get tight, others see the chance to take advantage of the tough times and gain an edge on the competition. When it comes to branding, it is more important than ever to make your product stand out;
- Determine value to your customers â€“ At times when consumers are concerned about their financial security as many have been in the last few years, they are in need of reassurance. Consumers are not likely to make binge purchases; many want the sense of making sensible purchases, control, security and simplicity, leading them to be more frugal when it comes to their buying habits;
- Social media presence â€“ Whether it is Twitter, Facebook or another venue, social media offers a great means to engage the customer and find out what they like and what they donâ€™t. You may or may not want to employ someone in your business on a full-time basis to oversee this area, but at the least it should be attended to on a part-time basis;
- Customer experience - Another main area to focus in on is the customer experience. Customers have a lot of options with which to choose from, so how are you going to set yourself apart from your rivals? The key here is making the customer experience worthwhile enough where they want to keep coming back time and time again. Do your employees put your customers first or are they an after-thought? Do your employees who work the phones treat the customers like theyâ€™d want to be treated, or are they short and rude with them? Finally, do your employees provide the necessary answer/s when a customer has a question about a product? Know these things and donâ€™t take them for granted;
- Customer rewards â€“ Lastly, what are you doing to reward your customers for their loyalty to your business? A customer will continue to come back over and over again if they like the service and feel the prices are reasonable. It is important as a business owner to treat returning customers properly and reward them for their continued patronage, be it through special rewards programs like discounts and the like. There is a reason this particular customer came back to you for purchases, so never forget that.
Make customer relation management skills a top priority at your small business in order to better position you and your employees to reap the rewards.