How Small Businesses Can Attract And Retain Customers

All businesses share a mutually beneficial relationship with their customers. Customers need products and services while businesses provide them to gain profit and sustain its operation and growth. Just like our social relationships, business-to-customer relationships should be progressive and dynamic and should not stagnate over time. 

It’s not just enough to attract many customers, but businesses should also make it a point to make their customers stay with them and continue buying their products or using their services.  For small businesses as well as large ones, customer retention is an important marketing goal that needs to be addressed. Here, we’ll discuss some key suggestions on how small businesses can attract and retain customers.

Establish a Strong Business Presence

Making your business visible and known to your prospective market is an important step in attracting more customers and increasing your customer base. Small businesses are aware that online presence is crucial in maintaining the business, targeting new markets, expanding the business, and effectively reaching out to customers. Your business website is considered as a digital storefront where many online users will come to see. However, your website shouldn’t just stand idly by as it is. 

A proactive approach is needed to gain the attention and interest of regular customers and prospective ones. This, according to SEO expert Matthew Woodward, is where SEO comes in handy. Increasing your search traffic is important in building awareness in web users about your business. While a large part of your search traffic may be organic traffic, it is a good start at making your business “seen” in the online community. You’ll need to follow up with strategies to make your SEO more effective by improving your page speed, analyzing your backlinks, optimizing for mobile search, etc. Making your business presence strong doesn’t just involve getting top search engine results, it also involves making your content and your website attractive, interactive, and useful for the visitors.

Maximize Your Unique Selling Point

Your business’s unique selling point (USP) is something you should revisit and improve from time to time. It allows you to reanalyze what are the key factors in your business that attracted your customers and how you can enhance them to get more customers and make your previous customers stay and continue to use your products or services. While it is necessary to explore other selling options and new products or services, looking back on what sets your business apart and how it was able to woo customers lies the answers to make them stay and keep them coming back to your establishment.

Once you always remember your USP and don’t lose sight of it, building a solid and loyal customer base becomes easy. Look into the way your business provides quality products or services, how competitive and reasonable your pricing is, the adaptability and responsiveness of your business to adversities, and many other selling points to apply these concepts to your new business undertakings.

Capitalize on Word-of-Mouth Advertising

Word-of-mouth advertising is a very effective marketing tool that you apply to your small business. Even though there are many advertising tools, options, and platforms, they can be easily manipulated or distorted and become unreliable. Consumers rely and trust more on inputs coming from other consumers, and this is where your business can capitalize on.

The easiest way to gain positive word-of-mouth advertising for your business is by making your service or product quality not only satisfying but also beyond the expectations of your customers. Taking that extra step to make the packaging more attractive, keeping the materials durable, or taking the initiative to take the regular service quality up a notch can make the customers happy and have a memorable experience. 

This way, you are making micro-influencers out of your satisfied and happy customers who will be willing to enthusiastically share their experience with their families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers, thereby promoting your business. People trust micro-influencers more than other forms of advertising, and if your business can generate more of them, you are bound to observe a better influx of customers.

Learn to Effectively Apply Discounts and Sales

Purchase value and savings are the top priority of many consumers. Allow your customers to save on their purchases and gain more value for their money by implementing discounts and sales. Make this strategy a win-win situation for your business and your customers by making the discounts attractive yet feasible enough to still gain profits. When customers see great discounts and deals, they tend to purchase more products or avail more service than they initially intended. These drive consumers to grab the opportunity and gain more purchase value before the prices return to normal and may not be cheap anymore. 

Promote Your Brand Through Giveaways

An unconventional yet effective way of gaining new customers and reaching new markets is through the use of giveaways. Giving your products or services for free can be beneficial for your business. It gives your business more exposure by attracting the attention of people who initially have not heard about your business.

People are easily attracted to free items because they have nothing to lose, and you can employ this strategy to your customers and audiences. Freebies and giveaways are a good way of drawing more people toward your business and promoting your brand to a new market. You are also giving people a new purchase option and you are letting them try out your products and services. 

You should, however, set a limit to the number of giveaways and freebies. You can set a promo period and a set number of people who can receive the free stuff. Making the freebies and giveaways limited also makes your business more interesting and appealing.

Utilize Social Media Channels

Make your business keep up with the times by utilizing various social media channels. Many of your customers are smartphone owners and have one or more social media accounts. You can make social media platforms as advertising tools to reach a diverse market and audience. Aside from advertising, having a social media account for your business makes you more accessible to customers and to people who might be interested in your business. You are also giving a positive impression of trying to interact and communicate with your customers through various means, including through social media.

In a nutshell, the longevity of your business depends on how well you nurture your relationship with your customers. Customer acquisition is just half of the story. Your business has to take the effort to make your customers feel valued to keep them continuously satisfied and make advocates out of them. To achieve this, businesses have to be focused and effective.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.