You Turning Away Potential Customers?
So many business owners focus primarily on the process of
marketing and advertising, spending precious dollars for media ads,
telemarketing and promotions. However, keeping the customers you do
attract is a critical part of business success.
Think about how to make it easy for the customers to find
you and want to do business with you. This calls for daily attention
on the part of the business owner and all members of the staff. Make
superior customer service throughout your organization a key part of
your overall marketing strategy.
Here are a few simple practices that will improve your bottom line.
How does your business present itself every day to the
people who call? This may be the first contact people have with your
Is your telephone receptionist pleasant, knowledgeable and
glad the person called? Helpful?
Does she/he route the phone call to another courteous person
who can help or perhaps refer the caller to another business that
carries what the caller wants?
Does your receptionist offer to mail out brochures or other
information on your products or services?
Hire employees who genuinely like people; train them in
customer service and in your products and services.
Encourage them to handle each contact as an opportunity to
keep the customer who was attracted to your business. Unless you are
the only game in town, you cannot afford to ignore the daily inquiries
from potential customers.
People remember where they were blocked and where they were
helped. If you are helpful, they will respond to you; otherwise they
will take their business elsewhere.
Can people find you? If people are responding to a printed
advertisement, they will be looking for your address.
Is your company name clearly marked on an attractive sign?
Is your street address on the sign, building or door? Don't
make potential customers guess if you're the one tucked in between the
donut shop and the pet store. If they can't find you easily, they will
patronize someone they can locate.
On the road:
An opportunity to make a
lasting impression! It is amazing at the number of companies
that have paid good money to have their name, logo and telephone
number painted on the side of their vans and trucks, only to offend
people with aggressive driving behavior.
Will I remember the truck that tailgates me and then blows
by to cut the next person off? Most likely. Will I ever do business
with that company? Highly unlikely. Better they should save their
advertising dollars and drive an unmarked vehicle.
Maintaining your customer base:
There are a number of software programs that will help you
keep track of your customers, including personal information about
them, their buying preferences, and their sales record with you.
Everyone wants to feel that their business is important to
you. So if you are able to send them a reminder to have their eyes
checked, buy their spouse a birthday present or just thank them for
their business, you will reap benefits that far outweigh the time and
expense on your part.
This is also an opportunity to ask your customers what they
think of your products and services, and what suggestions they have
for improving your business. Your customers are the ones who know what
they want. Assuming that you know what they want can be hazardous to
your business' health. See the sidebar for a book on surveying
It is well known that it costs less to cultivate existing
customers than to attract new ones. Take the time to think about ways
you and your staff can do this.
Attracting and keeping customers is part strategy and part
common sense with a good dose of genuine caring about people. Every
day your business will be presented with opportunities to secure new
customers without a lot of effort.
Prepare your business and your team to take advantage of