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All about retaining customers for your small business

Many times small business owners become obsessed with attracting new customers to their company. However, studies show that for any business up to 80% of their sales come from customers that they already have. This makes retaining your existing customers so very crucial to the long term success of your small business. While marketing to gain new customers is still important you should not overlook the need to keep your current customers happy with what you are doing. By showing your existing customers how much you appreciate their business you will give them an incentive to return and buy from you again. Here is all about retaining customers for your small business-

- Make your business as visible as possible-Everyone wants to be shopping at a visible business. You need to take every opportunity to educate your customers about your small business and what you can do for them. One of the easiest ways to do this is to take your business online. An attractive and interesting website will allow your customers to see in a few clicks what your small business is all about. However, in order for this type of visibility to work you should make sure that your website is highly user friendly. Finally, make sure that your website offers great content and something of value for your customers or they will quickly lose interest and move on.
- Focus on your customers needs-If you really want to retain your customers then you need to make sure that you are focusing on satisfying their need or want. You need to create moments where you can find out what their needs are. Small businesses that offer a product that fills a customer's demand will find long term success with happy customers. There are a lot of ways that you can do this. Either in-store or online surveys can give you valuable feedback about what your customers are looking for. You should also make it a priority to follow up with all of your customers right after a sale to determine what they did and did not like about their experience with you. You can also gather effective insight from social media networking sites (low cost method), or hire a market research team to gather information for you (high cost method). However, you choose to do it after you get the information you need, structuring your products and services to meet what your customers want will insure that you retain your customers.
- Offer incentives-Everyone is looking for a good deal. However, it is important to know that you don't need to offer an expensive incentive to keep your customers coming back. A coupon with a percentage discount or even a VIP showing that offers a sneak peak of a new product or service may be enough to keep your customers coming back. Whatever type of incentive that you offer the important factors are it needs to be something that will appeal to your customers and it needs to be dated so that it creates a sense of urgency and has your customers acting on it.
- Offer the best customer service-One of the easiest ways to retain your customers is most often overlooked. Offering the best customer service will keep your customers happy and has the happy side effect of creating word of mouth advertising. Studies have shown that many customers return to a business to buy again not because they have the lowest price but rather because they have the best customer service. It is important that you train everyone in your small business to make customer service their number one priority no matter what their job is.

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