Building customer support is vital, especially when you look at the statistics. A whopping 68% of customers leave because of what they perceive as indifference from the service provider.
The definition of indifference is “unimportance” and “unresponsiveness”. These are not words you want associated with your small business!
Customer appreciation is a brilliant marketing strategy, especially for a small business in direct competition with large companies. Here are cost effective ways to show consumers that you care. Employ some of these creative tactics to attract those valuable consumer dollars.
Say it with words
Remember those thank you notes your mom forced you write? She was teaching you a valuable skill! In this digital age, a handwritten note is a rare treat. Spend a bit of money on classy or cute note cards and put pen to paper. Be sure to add a few personalized details so your card doesn’t read like a form letter.
Prove it with pictures
Wahoo's Fish Tacos in Southern California does this right. Asking permission first, they take photos of customers enjoying their food and having fun. The photos are then mounted nicely and displayed prominently around the restaurant. Photos are updated frequently. Customers love to come back in and find that they’ve been featured or look for people they might know.
Give away branded swag
Everyone loves free stuff! In a recent survey, 58% of respondents reported that they keep a promotional product anywhere from one year to more than four years. Who is your primary customer? What type of product might they find fun or helpful? If you’re selling exercise equipment, an environmentally friendly water bottle or work out towel is a great fit. Do you serve parents? A coffee cup or keychain that can hold a photograph would be appropriate. Promotional products are only limited by your imagination. Find a company that can suggest and create branded merchandise. The costs can be very low or high – take a look at your marketing budget to find the right amount to budget. Check out this SmartBiz blog post for more ideas: Promotional Items for Your Small Business.
Social Media shout out
If one of your customers has reached a milestone, like getting married or graduating from school, tag them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to say congrats. Additionally, don’t ignore social media comments about your business. Good or bad, respond to show that you are paying attention to customer feedback.
If you have a locally based business, throw a bash for your customers. Everyone loves a party! You can hold the event at your place of business or in a local park. Offer food and drinks and perhaps some entertainment. Support small business by hiring a local band, DJ, etc. If families will attend, provide some inexpensive child-oriented activities like face painting. Balloon or bubbles giveaways are always popular with the kiddos.
Need some inspiration? Read 10 Stories of Unforgettable Customer Service. These companies went above and beyond to show appreciation.
If you’re ready to seek funds to grow your small business, an SBA loan is the best bet. SmartBiz SBA loans have low rates, long terms and low monthly payments. Visit SmartBiz today and discover in about five minutes if you’re qualified for an SBA loan.