If there’s one thing that almost every business has in common, it’s customers (well, that, and endless paperwork.) They are, quite simply, the core of your business, and are vital in keeping things up and running. But, how much do you really know them?
Granted, the days of local businesses, local customers and a good old natter on the high street are, for some at least, on their way out. But that doesn’t mean that genuine, heartfelt B2C interactions can’t still exist. You just might have to think a little differently. We’ve got a few tips up our sleeve.
Open up the conversation.
A very good place to start. No matter your business – the chances are, your focus is on what you can offer your customer, and rightly so. Great deals, professionalism, quality service, great products, and an even better attitude; whatever you’re offering, it’s valuable, and it’s worth shouting about. But, what about turning the tables every once in a while?
Ask customers what they want, why they come to you, what they like, and whether they have any ideas themselves. You’ll learn a lot, and it can highlight aspects of your business you hadn’t even considered an asset. Even if it does turn out to be your office dog.
Be prepared to listen.
Simple is sometimes best.
The best way to get to know someone really is just to listen. It’s a human affliction to continually contribute to conversation, but be prepared to take a back seat. Challenge yourself to use only questions in your next customer interaction. Don’t make it awkward, and definitely don’t make it an interrogation, but aim to avoid talking about yourself. You’ll be surprised the difference it makes.
And yes, this includes the negative.
Negative comments, reviews and unhappy customers come from somewhere. And it’s worth asking where, and why.
Use your social (media) skills.
We promise it doesn’t take that much skill.
If you have social media accounts for your business, use them – and learn to use them well. Aside from the free marketing, and endless opportunity for customer interactions, platforms like Instagram have handy ‘insights’ into your followers.
You can find out the age ranges, locations, and genders of your followers, and understand what content works best.
Does your social media following match your desired client base, and if not, why? What do they ‘like’ the most?
Even without social media, it’s worth taking stock of the details of your customers. Who are they, and what makes them tick? It’ll help with your future interactions, and better your understanding of your customer.
Get out there.
What better way to get to know your customers than surrounding yourself with them? Arrange meetups, or catch-ups with your customers and clients. Organise events. If your business has passed a milestone, why not include your customers in the celebrations? Meeting face to face allows you to pick up on a whole host of things you wouldn’t normally, and you might find customers are more open when they can see the real-life face behind it all. Of course, at the time of writing this, we’re currently in lockdown, so make sure you keep meetings virtual for now and look for safe ways to meet clients as we emerge from lockdown.
Running a small business is like wearing lots of different hats and sometimes it’s a struggle. We can help with that. Give us a call today to see how we can lighten the load when it comes to your accounts, bookkeeping and tax returns.