Basic Business 101 dictates that without customers buying your products, you don’t have positive cash flow and won’t make a profit. Customers are more than simply people who buy your products. If that’s all you view them as, then you are not utilizing them as invaluable resources. There are several steps involved in changing your perspective and viewing your customers as an invaluable resource.
Why Customers Are an Invaluable Resource
Customers are an invaluable resource to your business because when they receive excellent customer service from you and topnotch quality products, they will share their experiences with friends and family and those in their social networks. Think back to a time when you purchased a quality product, loved it and couldn’t wait to tell your friends to buy one, too. Your customers can become your company’s best asset if you utilize them in the right way. It is a give-and-take relationship and should never become one-sided with you receiving all the benefits. Take a look at some of the steps listed below and ascertain whether or not you can implement any of them into your business practices.
1. Offer the Best Customer Service & Products
Utilizing your customers as invaluable resources begins with offering the best customer service, products and shopping experience, both in-store and online. When you can provide the best, it shows that you care about your business and want to benefit your customers. Such an honest business practice will not go unnoticed by your customers. They will naturally share about their shopping experience and organically begin to refer new customers your way. When your customers are happy, they will continue to return to purchase and your business will flourish.
2. Take a Leap of Faith & Ask for a Referral
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers to refer your company and products to their friends and family. Remember that if they are having great customer experiences, they are most likely already referring others to your business. However, you can tip the scales in your favor, but offering customers an added incentive when they refer customers to you. For example, you can offer customers a discount off their next purchase if they refer a customer to your business. Maybe you’d rather offer them a free product. The method you implement will depend upon the various factors specific to your own business situation. However, asking your customers for a referral demonstrates to them that you actually value their opinion and assistance. They will feel valued and generally most will take the opportunity to refer others.
3. Cultivate a Genuine Relationship
As much as it is possible with your specific business situation, it is important to cultivate genuine relationships with your customers. This is an art that is changing in the current business environment. However, being genuine doesn’t have to die out. You’d be surprised at how well customers will respond when you take the time to be genuinely and friendly make an effort to get to know them. When customers feel valued and important, they will tend to come back to your store to purchase again. It’s common knowledge of psychology 101 that human beings simply want to be loved and accepted. Do this in your business and your customers will continue to be that invaluable resource that you need for your business to flourish.
4. Change with the Times & Get Active on Social Media
Technology continually advances and if you don’t grow with it, you will lose some customers, especially the younger generation and new prospects. You must be active with accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+. Don’t be afraid to get online and start interacting with your customers. Share sales and discounts that you’re offering. Ask customers to post testimonials to your social media pages. Offer a special to the 10 or 100 customer who posts a testimony on each Friday. You can even start a Facebook Group page, where your actual customers can engage and share with other customers and even ask you questions. Especially with the current environment on the Internet these days, you need to jump on the train and ride with your customers. If they don’t have online access to you, your company will not be as readily accessible in their mind. However, the goal is not to sell them on your products, but to try to engage with them and further develop the professional relationship that you have with them.
5. Following Up is a Vital Factor
Customer follow-up is so important to continuing to grow your business and cultivating that relationship you have with them. Don’t allow the follow-up to become obnoxious and bothersome. That will only drive your customers away, running for the hills. However, you must find that delicate balance between following up in a professional manner with acceptable boundaries. For example, when you send out emails, always provide an option for your customers to opt out of your email list if they want to. Never add customers to your email mailing list without their permission. Take the time to make personal phone calls. Personal contact is a lost art these days with so much emailing, texting and online contact going on. When you follow up with customers, they will feel valued and in turn, will continue to become an invaluable resource for your business.
Viewing your customers as invaluable resources will boost your sales, expand your company brand and make your business flourish—provided you have correctly implemented the best plan of action. Following the steps listed in this article will help you cultivate the relationship you have with your customers.