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Small Business: How To Get Repeat Customers

Small Business: How To Get Repeat Customers

As every small business owner knows, or finds out soon enough, it costs more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing customer happy. This is because advertising and marketing budgets to generate new business are limited as is the pool of available customers. It is possible for some small businesses to have global reach but generally speaking, most small businesses service local clients. So once you've got a client, what steps can be taken to turn them into repeat customers.

Service with a Smile

Attitude is everything in the business world and providing a friendly environment where customers feel at home really does make a difference. Think about places you enjoy frequenting, from a local eatery to a small bookstore. Happy sales staff which greet customers as if they're welcoming friends make the shopping experience pleasant which is likely to turn into repeat business. This is because the opposite is definitely true. Consider a place you only shopped once and more often than not the reason will be because of a businesses rude or indifferent sales staff.

Cleanliness is Key

No customer wants to rummage through unkempt inventory or walk along dirty aisles and floors. Many national chains already realize this and have evening cleaning staff which polish floors, sweep, mop and rearrange existing inventory. Ideally your small business will look like it just opened that day and every customer through the door is the first customer ever. Many businesses will even clean throughout the day to maintain the perfect shopping experience.

Be Fair and Honest

Reputation is everything in life and even more so in the business world. Word-of-mouth advertising only works if the person offering the recommendation truly believes in a small business. Show that you have the customer's best interests at heart by making recommendations even when they don't benefit you directly. I can't tell you how much I respect businesses that will point me to a competitor that offers a product I need that the current business does not instead of pushing an inappropriate sale.

Satisfy a Specific Niche

Use some element of your service to differentiate yourself from competitors and focus on a target market. Try to be the business which offers free delivery on all purchases or has a no questions asked return policy. Small businesses which go above and beyond normal operations when servicing customer needs are those which separate themselves from the rest when developing a brand. If you can fill a specific niche no other business is currently filling then your business becomes an invaluable resource which existing customers benefit from timing and again.

Become an Expert

Instead of becoming a small business which is a Jack of all trades but master of none, become an expert in one particular area. Encouraging repeat business is more than just a transaction where currency is exchanged for goods or services. It's about becoming a resource of information where customers trust your judgment and take what you tell them as gospel. If you are viewed as an expert on a particular subject, many existing customers come to rely on your knowledge and experience translating to more business and repeat business.

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