Everybody wants their business to grow, but how many of us can say we know exactly how to do it? Do we even know what growth is? How do we measure it?
Growth comes in many ways, not just profits. Of course, the bottom line is to empower your business financially, but doing so doesn’t just depend on buying and selling products. If you think that’s the case, a switch in mindset might be just what can create exponential progress. Your customers are people, and they like being treated that way.
These five fresh, simple, and low-cost tips are a great start to delighting and engaging your customers. Happy customers means loyal advocates.
1. Compliment your Competitors for Everyone to See
We know this sounds counterproductive, but trust us – good sportsmanship is impressive. We don’t mean that you should tell customers to ignore you and patronize your biggest competition, but praising those who do what you do (when they’ve done a great job and deserve it) is a way to demonstrate how classy and good-natured your brand is. When you’re not afraid to compliment another business’ work you’re saying that you’re confident in the quality of your own products. In turn, people gain confidence in you as well, and you don’t have to say a word about how great your business is. If done very well, your competition might see this act of kindness as something they have to reciprocate. They could end up sending the good vibes (and customers) right back your way!
2. Send your Regulars a Personalized Letter
If you can’t take the time to write a few words of thanks to those who have kept your business afloat, then maybe you should rethink your schedule. Show your most loyal customers that you’re grateful for their service, and their loyalty gets cemented. Don’t ever take it for granted that a customer will remain a customer for life if you don’t act like you know they exist. If you’ve got their addresses and do deliveries on a regular basis, you can include the letter wrapped in their packages, or simply send it to them via mail, no strings attached. A surprise is always welcome, and hand-written (or typed) letters are so rare these days, it’ll be a relief to see one among the utility bills. After saying your thanks, you can even use that letter to advertise one exciting new service or let them know of a new website launch. But be careful with this: use moderation and self control – if you advertise anything to them, include an incentive like a coupon or a discount code in thanks for their loyalty softens the blow. No one wants unsolicited spam. Not in email or in person. Your safest bet is to just say thanks.
3. Give gifts for no reason
These don’t even have to be expensive things. Dropping a branded pen or a notepad in their shopping bags during a season other than Christmas or the New Year gives people something to look at and use. Plus, you don’t have to compete with other businesses who love to give away their merchandise at the end of the year – we can’t tell you how many calendars we’ve stuffed in a corner and forgotten about in December. It reminds them that you’re there, and that you are useful, just like your branded merchandise. You can also give gifts to your employees, like new polos with their names (not uniforms) or free products you sell, thus making them feel appreciated. It gives them a sense of belonging and boosts their morale, which means they give better service on your behalf.
4. Do an AMA, live
AMA stands for Ask Me Anything and the practice was popularized by Reddit. Celebrities, authors and even the President of the United States solicited genuine an useful feedback from this activity, and it’s better than any suggestion box or questionnaire could do. Simply asking someone’s opinion makes them think better of you because they feel like their opinions matter. People generally respond well to any opportunity to express themselves, even in the form of questions. The great thing about an AMA is that you don’t have to do it on Reddit or even the Internet! Imagine walking into a chain store and the owner is there holding an #AMA sign. That could be you, and that could be priceless customer feedback.
5. Easter Eggs aren’t Just for Easter
Can you imagine cashing for a pair of shoes and you find a 50% off coupon inside the box? How about sneaking your customers a sample of your newest product in their shopping bags the week before you launch? People remember how you make them feel, and unexpected delighters like these are the perfect way to implant pleasant memories in your customer’s minds about your brand. Pleasant memories are guaranteed to bring them back the next time they need services like yours. They save you the finances and energy required to compete for every single little sale.
It’s your turn
Can you think of any other uncommon ways you can grow your business? A holistic approach brings new life and excitement into your industry, and you can lead the way. Share your ideas with us in the comments!