By Carly Illeck
Proven Tips for Strengthening Your Small Business Customer Base
Whether you run a new or existing small business, keeping your customers top of mind will help you obtain long-term success. Customers are the lifeblood of any business, and these days, there are countless ways you can reach your customers and keep them satisfied. This means, as an entrepreneur, you must embrace the mindset of constantly improving.
Drop Top Company has listed some ideas for how you can strengthen your customer base and grow your business the healthy way in the process:
Form an LLC/Incorporate
First of all, gaining and retaining customers takes time and energy. The fewer menial tasks you have to worry about in your daily operations, the more time and energy you’ll have to devote to your customers. One way to save time is creating an LLC for your business.
Not only with this yield liability protections and tax benefits, but it will also mean that you have less paperwork to worry about. It’s essential to understand the rules and regulations of forming an LLC in your state, but you can hire an online formation service to handle most of the legwork.
Reevaluate Your Offerings
If you’re not offering the right products or services for your niche then you’ll be hard-pressed to maintain any kind of long-term success. Regularly research the market and learn about current trends in your industry so that you can ensure your company is remaining relevant.
By monitoring the competition and identifying gaps in the market, you’ll be better equipped to determine how you can improve on existing products or services or create new ones.
Moreover, consider your delivery methods. For example, if you run a physical store, are you providing the option of curbside pickup for your customers? Have you improved your home delivery process since the pandemic began? Assess what you’re offering your customers so that you can determine how you can improve their experience.
Along with researching the market, seek to learn more about your customers. By using CRM software you can track and analyze customer behavior and learn details about each customer that can help you strategize going forward. For example, if you figure out that a lot of your customers are women between the ages of 30 and 39, then you can adjust everything from your product development to your marketing approach to match that customer profile.
Keep Customer Support a Priority
Customers expect quicker service than they used to. While companies could once get away with responding to an inquiry within 48 hours, consumers now expect an instant response. As such, customer support must be top of mind for your business.
"I still don't really know what I'm doing sometimes, [regarding owning an apparel company] what I do know, however, is that Drop Top Co.'s relative success is a direct result of our customers. Driving around in San Francisco, I sometimes see cars with our stickers on their bumper. [Like,] that's crazy! All of the small events we did as we were growing as a company allowed for us to create a sort of 'Drop Top Team'. Every time someone contacts us via the website, claiming their friend told them to check out our company, that in and of itself means we succeeded in allowing our customers to not just wear our clothes, but to be a part of our company, our mission... I guess that's kind of what I think it should all be about -- people coming together over things they enjoy".
- Carly Illeck
Drop Top Company, CEO/ Founder
Depending on the size of your operation, you may need to incorporate several different channels in order to connect with customers and answer any questions or issues they may have. Speaking with customers in person and over the phone tends to work well for micro-businesses.
However, a large chunk of consumers prefers to get support via live chat, social media, and email. Evaluate what most of your customers are looking for as well as your current capabilities, and make any adjustments necessary so that you can provide excellent support.
Finally, one of the most effective ways to ensure that you keep your customers happy is to ask them how you can improve. Send out regular online surveys to get the opinions of your customers on your products, services, and support. And respond to what your customers say—if possible, respond to each individual customer. This is the most direct way to compile the information necessary to make meaningful changes in every aspect of your business.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is—your customers must remain top of mind. Take steps to make more time for focusing on your customers, and reassess the products, services, and support you’re offering. Also, start tracking and analyzing your customers’ behavior so that you can determine how you can improve your operations. Lastly, always prioritize your customer support process, regularly ask your customers for feedback, and remain willing to modify as needed.
Visit DropTopCompany.com today to shop with a purpose!