Given below are some points you should keep in mind when you are trying to attract new customers - and convert them into loyal ones in the process.
Handling New Customers
Often, people who have just started their business are too busy chasing new customers. They sometimes fail to realize that their existing customers could also be a source of new business. As a small business owner, you should stay in contact with your existing customers and get regular feedback on your products and prices. Also, don't be afraid to ask your customers questions about your competitor's strategies, products and services.
Once a new customer decides to do business with you, then you should immediately handle all his or her needs in the most courteous and efficient manner. Always provide service politely and with a smile.
You should make your customers feel warm and comfortable while in your store or on the telephone. Keep in touch with them by sending them greeting cards or sale notices.
Treat every customer with respect - no matter how large or small their purchases are.
Improve With Time
Once your new customers become comfortable with you or one of your employees, you should remember them by name. If you and your staff are able to greet customers by name, it makes their experience much more personal.
If customers believe that you take a special interest in them, they are also more apt to think that they are receiving one on one service. Always thank them for their business and invite them to come again.
Make it a point to send customers advance notice of special sales, or offer additional discounts on certain products.
Regular Customers Become Your Sales People
Regular customers will inform their friends and relatives about your business - and if you've done your job well, you will soon have lots of new customers, courtesy of your old ones. Your regular customers are actually now advertising your business - without you having to spend an extra dime on marketing.
In business, referrals are like gold. With new customers already convinced of your honesty and reasonable pricing, you will not have a difficult time convincing them to buy your products.
The Cycle Begins Again
Once new customers start buying your products and services, then the entire cycle of converting new customers into loyal customers continues.
Soon, you will have a wider customer base - and your small business will benefit from this 'recycling' process.
Holding Up Your End of the Bargain
New and old customers alike all have some expectations from you, and you should at all times honor those expectations. You should always be honest with your customers; never mislead them. It is important that you communicate effectively. Notify customers immediately if a problem arises, such as a shipping delay. They will appreciate your honesty.
You should the ensure privacy of all your customers' conversations and their personal and financial information. In many cases, this isn't an arbitrary situation - it is the law.
Customers are the lifeblood of any small business. Follow the tips above and soon you'll have more customers than you know what to do with!