10 Ways to Attract and Retain Customers for Your Small Business
You can have a great product or service. You could also have a great marketing strategy. But in the end, if you don’t have who to sell it, you don’t have anything. This is why you need customers. In this article, we will discuss how to attract them and to keep customers interested in your small business.
10 Ways how to Attract and Retain Customers
1. Word of Mouth
First of all, there’s word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth was always one of the strongest marketing tools. However, it seems it has an increasing role in marketing lately. The reason for its increasing role is that we are overwhelmed with ads. Advertising is all around us and we don’t trust it. Word-of-mouth is something we can more easily trust.
It is a natural tendency to express your satisfaction when you are happy. The same is with satisfied customers. They are willing to share their experience and in the same way, promote your business. People share their opinion in their circle of trust and influence – family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors.
Since they have tried your product, they believe in it. When you might don’t expect it, they protect and defend your business outside.
Like G.S. Alag said,
Satisfied customer is the best source of advertising.
Consequently, that is why people trust micro-influencers more than advertising.
There are some pieces of advice to make word-of-mouth works:
- Before everything, you need to have a product or service that really works and provide value. If a product or service delivers on its promise and does more than what it says, customers will be satisfied.
- A second thing is customer experience. People like to buy products and services from businesses that treat them with respect. They love to be given attention and will return to enjoy it again.
- Third, give them a reason to advertise your business. Sometimes, word-of-mouth advertising doesn’t come automatically. You have to encourage and motivate your customers to do it for you.
Related: Popular Customer Pain Points
It might seem too common, but giveaways and free stuff always work. Giving away your products and services for free could have some positive effects on your business. For example, setting actions like that makes you more visible. People who haven’t heard about you before could reach you.
Further, you can reach people who wouldn’t otherwise buy your product. If you give them it for free, they might like it and buy it next time. Customers love ‘free’ because they have nothing to lose. By drawing them into your business, you give them a chance to experience something different and you give yourself a chance to show your value.
However, you must be aware that free stuff will not last forever. From the outset, determine the number of people who will enjoy the free stuff or the period of promo time. Not everybody should get free stuff. This is also a key element that makes it very appealing.
3. Discounts and Sales
Just like free stuff, discounts and sales work well too. They are another attractive way to get consumer attention. People often see discounts and deals as an opportunity to save money and enjoy a product or service.
In fact, discounts and sales affect people to buy more products or services than they initially planned. They love to ‘take the opportunity’ because the same products may not be so cheap tomorrow. Offering deals, discounts and sales are also a powerful way to promote your brand.
4. Make It Like Competition
You can use contests and sweepstakes as a promotional tool. They attract customers to their company or product. A contest is slightly different from sweepstakes in that it requires participants to complete some sort of challenge. For example, it could be a trivia question or demonstration of a talent or skill. Both of these tools have some strengths as marketing tools.
This works because people love to win. It’s not just always about the prize you win, it’s the thrill of getting lucky or beating other people. To spread the word about the contest, word of mouth and social media could help you. People could talk about the contest and create free attention and buzz for you.
5. Interesting Web Site
As you already know, A website is a collection of related network web resources. It could be in form of web pages, multimedia content, which are typically identified with a common domain name, and published on at least one web server.
As a result of the huge influence of the internet, our world is now more connected than ever before. Most people simply use the internet nowadays when they want to find a product or service. It is easier and more effective to search Google for information rather than ask the nearest human being.
Owning your own website is no longer a question. It is necessary. The question is what kind of website you want to have. A creative web site gets the attention of your customers. Furthermore, interesting content creates customer motivation. Functional design, on the contrary, shows the purpose of the product. There are some advantages of creative and functional website design.
6. Get Listed on Popular Local Directories
Thanks to the internet, small businesses can be listed for free on local directories. When a small business is registered on a local directory, people around the world can find it on the map and view its contact information. The best part is, you don’t have to pay anything to become registered on these directories.
Some of the most popular ones out there are Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Places. As you can see, all of these directories are run by the big global internet search giants. Get onboard today and fast to claim your place.
Picture 1. Stand out online
7. Social Media
Together with the website, having social media accounts is one of the most important things in advertising. Social media is changing the way business is done and the advertising. That is why you should be aware of their specifics and importance of monitoring social networks.
Although Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Messanger are very popular, there are some more increasing social networks. Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat are following the most popular ones. After them, Reddit is a discussion website, social news aggregation and web content rating. Registered members submit content to the site. Although that is not its purpose, Reddit can be very useful at promoting your business.
Eighth the most popular social network is WhatsApp. People use WhatsApp both for private messages and business. When it comes to WhatsApp, it has a special part in the business. WhatsApp Business is free to download a dedicated application. It is focused on small medium enterprises and multinational corporations. Its goal is to enable businesses to interact with their customers.
8. Online Advertising
More people now depend on the internet for information nowadays. Investing in online advertising grows every year. Since more people use the internet to get information, it makes sense for you to be where your potential customers are.
There are different forms of online advertising. One of them is Search Engine Marketing (SEM). It refers to the process of increasing website traffic with ad purchasing on search engines. One of the most used search engines is Google’s Adwords. With a small amount of money, you can pay to advertise on Google. Here it is important to have your website. When you have an add, it should lead to your website.
9. Distribute Flyers
Although we are for a long time in the digital world, there are still some offline tools you can use. For example, flyers. Flyers are a simple and effective way to publicize and advertise your business. They usually work best for small businesses which have target customers in a particular area.
To try out this method of advertising, you don’t need to invest in very expensive flyers. If you have limited funds, it’s best you focus more on the message you want to deliver and not on the pictures, graphics or colors. In fact, you can design a simple one using free tools such as Canva.com and PicMonkey.com.
Picture 2. Canva design example
10. Volunteer Work
Although you don’t see profit in a short time, volunteer work can be useful. Doing volunteer work is often an overlooked opportunity to enjoy free publicity. Involving volunteer work in your community, church or mosque could also help. You could meet new partners or customers.
Most times, all that is required may be your time, effort and encouragement. If you plan to use this method of advertising, remember to make sure that all donations, sponsorships, and support are done in the name of your business and not yours. And don’t forget that customers support businesses that give something back to society.
Attract and Retain Customers: Final Thoughts
All things said, there are many ways to attract customer and to keep him. You can use the ones that are more suitable for your business. For example, if your product isn’t visual, maybe visual networks such as Instagram aren’t the best solution.
Or, if your product is very luxurious and expensive, there is no sense to promote it with flyers to the local community (except if you live in an affluent neighborhood). It is up to you to choose what way you will use. But whichever you choose, you should be aware that attacking customer doesn’t mean an immediate sale.
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