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All about customer relations for your small business

How you treat the customers of your small business will in large part determine how successful your business ends up being. It is crucial that you make the relationship that you have with your customers a top priority within your small business. This will not only help insure that your small business will continue to grow and thrive but studies have shown that small business with excellent customer service often fare better when the economy goes down then their larger competitors. It is also important to realize that up to 80% of your sales will come from the customers you already have so treating them right is crucial to long term success.While you certainly want to be working to attract new customers you should not ignore the customers you already have. Here is all about customer relations for your small business-

- Know your target market-It is important to always know what customer your small business will appeal to. This will help you determine how to best meet their needs and desires. Doing the right amount of market research will help you figure out who is most likely to buy from your store and how they will expect to be treated. This is the starting point in developing long term customer relations.
- Develop a relationship with your existing customers-It is not enough to simply get your customers in the door. Now that you know who your customers are likely to be you will need to begin to develop a relationship with them. Your service needs to be personalized in such a way that they feel a sense of loyalty to your small business. You need to do this in a manner that not only presents your small business as the expert in your field but engenders feelings of trust and creditability from your customers. Keep in mindhowever, that at any time that your customers feel that you are only interested in them for sales they are likely to move on to another business that will give them the service they are looking for.
- Tailor your marketing to your customers-Many small business owners make the mistake of thinking that their marketing is only for attracting new customers. This is simplistic thinking that overlooks the opportunity that marketing gives for deepening a relationship with your existing customers. You can use your marketing to let your long term customers know how much you appreciate their business. Offering VIP discounts, special sneak peaks, or invitation only events will let your customer base know that you value their business. However, keep in mind that you need to make sure that whatever incentive that you are offering is something of value to your customers or there is little chance that will work in your favor.
- Train everyone who works for you that customer service is their number one priority-Everyone who works for you should report that customer service is the first line in their job description. Not matter what an employees job description is they should be trained to focus on customer service. When your customers know that everyone in your small business is working for their satisfaction they will appreciate that and return to buy from you for a long time to come. You should also make sure that your small business is truly user friendly. Customers should not have to wait on line or be connected to multiple people to have a problem resolved. They should be able to gain the information they need easily and quickly. In addition, you want to provide plenty of options such as: easy payment plans, information online and other options as applicable that make it easier for your customers to shop with you.

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