One of the most important things an entrepreneur can do is to develop an active community for their startup from the very start.
A loyal consumer base ensures return business, which can develop into steady revenue streams that will allow the startup to grow into a small business before long. Here, our collaborator, entrepreneur and healthcare consultant Munear Ashton Kouzbari details ten ways any entrepreneur can build a robust and loyal consumer base from the beginning.
Start with Your Employees
Happy employees mean happy customers. It’s essential to take the time to develop good relationships with your employees and to maintain a healthy atmosphere in the office. The office atmosphere will affect employees’ interactions with clients, and you want it to be as positive as possible.
Have Excellent Customer Service
Always have a cheerful tone of voice. Address your clients by name. Always have a friendly smile. These may seem like little things, but even the simplest of gestures like referring to a customer by name can make a significant impact. A great customer service experience will make them want to come back.
Create a Loyalty Program
Offering customer incentives is a great way to encourage customers to come back. It can be as simple as a punch card for a free product, or “credit” at your business. Whatever it is, it lets them know that you care about their loyalty and appreciate their business.
Market Your Products Well
Running an effective marketing campaign to raise product awareness is a powerful tool. Customers may forget about a particular product or service you offer, and seeing them throughout their daily routines can act as a gentle reminder to return.
Prioritize Human Contact
It’s great to take advantage of the benefits technology offers, but don’t overdo it. Customers like to talk to a person who knows how to help them, rather than struggle with a prerecorded message system.
Invest in Employee Training
Employee training can empower employees and instruct them on how to carry out their duties properly. They will work better together through team-building exercises, as well as learn the ins and outs of how to do things.
Offer Financing Solutions
If your products or services are on the pricier side, it may be a good idea to offer payment plans. Customers will be happy to return to someone who prioritizes them by making the cost easier on them.
Be Flexible with Your Clients
It’s easy to be cut and dry, but extending a little consideration goes a long way. Return transactions and other awkward proceedings do not always have to be done “by the book.” Instead, try to be willing to bend a little bit. Your customers will appreciate it more than you think.
Communicate with Your Clients
Excellent communication is key, whether this means being able to relate to them in conversation or coming up with an email marketing campaign to serve as a reminder, but being able to communicate with your clients is everything.
Build a Strong Reputation
Customers want to carry out their business with a reputable source. All of the above–focusing on employee health, prioritizing each customer relationship rather than the sales, straightforward communication, and reliability—are all ways to build an excellent reputation.