In the business world, there are of course winners and losers. With any luck at all, you find yourself in the former category.
For business owners today and heading into 2017, there is much to be gained, though the same could be said for being lost.
With the November elections in the record books, many business owners will be looking to Washington, D.C. and how the new administration takes (or doesn’t take) to businesses. If it is considered a business-friendly administration, then many companies will welcome the new opportunities that will come to help them grow (fewer taxes, more investments etc.).
As you should know by now, your customers set the tone each and every year, alerting you to if it will be a good or bad 12 months. So that you can make the next 12 months as strong as possible, now would be a good time to compare end-of-year 2016 to the same time a year ago.
In the event you see any major red flags, act on them sooner rather than later.
By doing so, you increase the chances of having customers come back to you on a regular basis.
Make Customers Have a Reason to Come Back
So that you can keep customers coming back over and over again, remember the following tips:
- Service – Even more important than the products and services you provide, your customer service must be unchallenged. Take note that your competitors will do everything in their power to give consumers a reason to use them and not you. In order to reverse that idea, you need to review how your customer service initiatives are being received. If they’re not being received with great fanfare, make sure you look to remedy the matter;
- Payments – Do you make it as easy as possible for customers to complete transactions with you? When you have the right credit card processing system in place, you can do business with relative ease. The right system allows you to ring-up transactions in no time at all, avoiding the matter that most customers despise, being kept waiting. Whether you are completing sales in your store or office or through online means, make sure customers can come in, find what they need, and then complete the checkout process. When things on the financial end run smoothly, there is a good chance those same customers will be back for more before too long.
Do Enough Consumers Know About You?
- Promotions – Even if you are a tad strapped for cash, you should never drop the ball when it comes to promoting your brand. That being the case, make sure consumers know about what you have to offer. Through your website, social media means, even simply by word-of-mouth, you have ample ways to promote your business on a regular basis. With the website, make sure it is regularly updated, allowing consumers to see all you offer. With social media, you have endless opportunities to promote your brand on sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and of course Facebook. Finally, the power of word-of-mouth can never be exaggerated. By keeping your present customers happy and engaged in your business, it opens the doors to them telling others about your brand. As a result, that customer base can (and should) grow on a regular basis;
- Reputation – Finally, do periodic checks of your online reputation. While you may not think it is all that big of a deal, you don’t want any nasty surprises coming your way. For instance, what if you had a customer or customers going viral after a bad experience with your business? Even though it may only be one or a few disgruntled people, that kind of anger can grow like a wildfire. Before long, you find yourself putting out little fires here and there online. By doing a simple check of your company’s name (and your own online), you are better alerted to potential trouble, trouble that no business owner really wants to deal with.
If keeping customers as of late has been a challenge for you, use the end-of-the-year time you have to get back on course.
In doing so, more customers are likely to check-in for business with you.