If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, depending on your market you will find that you are struggling to compete with big businesses that have deep pockets and overactive R&D (research and development) departments. For every promotion you launch, they launch five more with a broader reach. The one thing entrepreneurs and small business owners have on their side is the ability to personally connect with customers and make them feel like they are more than just a quick buck.
Before you even think about increasing your customer base, consider doing practical things for the customers you already have to make them feel special. In order to give practical understanding to the idea of making your customers feel special, let’s use the beauty industry as an example. Let’s say you are in the business of selling beauty products or cosmetics, here are some ways that you can make your customers feel special, pampered and/or important:
Provide your customers with a nice sample set of beauty products they have not yet purchased. Don’t just throw a few beauty samples in the box either. Assemble the samples in a nice fashion (for example: in a mini size organza or muslin bag). While this does have some expense, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Presentation is everything and in the end you may get a repeat customer.
Write your customer a short hand written “Thank You” note for patronizing your business. This greatly personalizes their experience so that they have a closer connection with your business resulting in them looking to you for their beauty needs. You are not asking for anything. You are just showing gratitude.
Send your existing customers e-cards during the holidays. Thank them again for your business. This is free and also shows your customers that you are thinking of them. Another personal connection is made.
Offer your existing customers a chance to win a “Pamper Me” gift basket filled with some of your beauty products. Make sure you clearly point out that this is an exclusive offer for your customers as a way of saying Thank You.
Communication is key. Follow up with your customers to see how they like your beauty products and if they would like to provide any feedback. Be sure to personalize your messages. Don’t speak in a “sales tone.” If applicable, share your personal experiences with some of your beauty products and any recommendations. You can accomplish this and also have a beauty blog available for your customers to communicate openly and freely with you and others. Also, don’t forget to communicate with your customers in a timely and friendly fashion if their orders are going to be delayed.